By Patty L. Augustine 1999.
“An Inner Icon”
A Continuation By Patty L. Augustine 2000
By Patty L. Augustine 2000.
A Continuation By Patty L. Augustine 2000
With the continuation of my “inner icon” I often revert back to that particular place deep in my mind. Is it really my mind? Or, does it go yet deeper? As already understood, I’ve always been drawn to the massacre, the sinister, and the strange. Also as known in brief, I’ve learned how to re-channel this vital energy as a valuable asset in my daily living. Hence, I believe it equips me as a better and enlightened human being.
The house of that famed cult film aired in August of 1973 – “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”. It was a large two story white farmhouse set back in a grassy field, yet nearby the main country road. Its outward appearance gave on lookers a sense of meekness. Indeed poverty was there, but not in an embittered sense. No sense of anger or hypocrisy. Yet mere acceptance of “this country life” and its slower pace in living it.
Inside, there is a sudden drastically felt change of atmosphere. It is dark. Terribly oppressive. Literally torn up, or partially “trashed”, and allowed to fall down from the inside out. Everything seen and unseen is askew, hidden and oppressive. Foreboding. Nothing here is new or modern. I truly like that. A wonderful unspoken feature about this film.
In particular, a room upstairs. Down an open hallway adjacent to the ascending stairway there is a quiet, elongated room. This room contained “Grandpa” with his now deceased mummified wife sitting partially across from him. Extremely old and feeble himself, he rocks contently in an old rocking chair. Unable to move, speak, or care for himself. He lives mostly in this long room. It is shaped as the eves are of the spacious farmhouse roof. Wallpaper covers all surfaces of the rooms’ walls and ceiling that is pitched. A particular area of one of the walls is now vacant, or bare where the grayed wallpaper had fallen away. The plain pine wood floor bares all the marks of scuffing the chair along and neglect. Dust and dirt abound up here. An all over gray to this entire room, yellowing of the ancient wallpaper’s edges.
I loved this one room the most. It reflects silence, a seclusion where a soul can be himself with all his flaws. Hidden away, and becoming one of the cloak of decay around him. Contentment filled the air in this fear-provoking scene where young “Sally Hardasty” comes in to seek protection from “Leatherface” downstairs. “Sally Hardesty” was played by “Marylyn Burns”. He never spoke because he could not. The darkness surrounding them both, save for an old lamp illuminating the scene. It sat on an oval shaped wooden table containing no legs. It sat on the badly scuffed floor against the wall. Illuminating the grayed filth of this neglected room of squalor and emptiness. Again, contentment permeated all around.
Neglect, discord. Nonconforming. Everything reeks of filth, disarray. And again neglect. The pine sub floors in the downstairs hallway now are totally exposed to the air. Walking on the many bumps that are continuous like a washboard. Reflecting homes of the days of old. A humbler and simpler time. Again, where the living solely off the land was everything and aided the simple human spirit in its drive to remain that way.
A definite form of anti-establishment. Yes indeed. Living a way of life that would make most turn and run. However, for those living here peacefulness abounded. A total nonconformist family of few souls but where abuse found asylum and solace. It was allowed to reign and thrive within these crumbling walls of neglect and horror.
But the elusive character, “Leatherface”, again, he was my utmost favorite of all manmade horror figures. Played by actor “Gunner Hanson”, he portrayed the loathsome fiend so well; I could easily see how he silently suffered. And how he relished in the silence of his squallered home while other family members were away. Unable to speak anyway was probably an added comfort. In this dark realm of anti-establishment, he was able to feel totally free to be himself. To be and to do what he so desired, to act as he so had. Like the rest of his family, to indulge in satanic rituals and sacrifice, heinous cruelty and affliction. However, in doing this, he destroyed inevitably the energies necessary to re-assimilate himself into a better person. Getting truly in touch with his inhuman and sinister qualities that jostle in us all. One can re-channel this negative energy to our greater advantage. As I long ago stated, “the deeper the plunge into the darkness of our inferior selves, the greater we can understand the light of intellect”. This way, the light no longer appears so blinding and just that – light. Light with no tangible meaning.
To be here in this “house within” is really a sense of peace. I’ve been staying at an intermittent schedule all my existence. A fabrication since I was two years old. Only since the movie aired, at age six, it became my own. A perfect epitome of my innermost self. Only not neglected and left to fester in the darkness of my unconscious. Rather it was repeatedly purged and yearn-fully exposed to all of my soul’s many states. Constantly shedding the light of intellect onto the churnings of madness and the realm of the immoral within us all. As said, this “house within” me had been present long before the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”. To “be” here is necessary. To “live” here is not. Yet for myself it truly is a necessity.
This house with all its starkness of terror and terrifying imagery equally holds something else as well. It reflects in me an all too real need to be myself with all its inhibitions. Both good and wrong. Never to speak aloud as “Leatherface” had. Never to totally succumb to authority. To be one’s self. With the added necessity to reclaim one’s immoral and unredeemable self. To never be pitted purposely against one’s will to derive life or from the chaos imposed from the outside.
The land outside this house reflects a drastic contrast of outlooks, however, peacefully conceived. Trees encircling part of the homes sprawling land. Dead dried patched grass reflecting an inner loneliness hidden within, yet, saying to the world, “I don’t care what you think of me. I am what I am”. The very same holds true with this house. Both inside and out. Although holding so many seething contrasts, including a sense of foreboding excitement. However, I never came to know anything else that may fill in the spaces of this drab picture.
It is indeed desperate, yet happy, chaotic, terrifying, and sad. But the labeled emotion called “yearning” is the dominant one here. It is the very same one since my life’s humble, impoverished beginnings. When I began living in this chaotic but glorious era of my “inner icon”.
This white farmhouse reeks terror in the very hearts of most whom had been lucky enough to see it in the theatre. But, as I said in the earlier part of my testimony, the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” of 1973, epitomized the very soul of me. The time in my own and our great nation’s life. A transitional time of both coming into the sunshine, clinging the flower of life, and being torn apart at the preverbal seams from rampant war and politics. The farmer still signified America. Youth was grand and new. Poverty as said still flourished greatly here.
I loved this time, although the latter is well signified. A simpler time for America’s community, although suddenly growing and burgeoning. It is just that retreating to the senses from time to time has always been a lost art. To truly expose ourselves to the dark undeveloped side of the human psyche. Intellect serves as our “flashlight” down there, or in that “house within”. The “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” 1973, really paved the way for those whom have never done this.
To go wild with one’s senses, to become one with withheld madness and depravity. Yet in contrast, to recede into a dark place and regain ones’ “other” insights. To “mature in the dark”. To be stripped totally of one’s upright qualities and to see whom we truly are inside. “Leatherface” had already done this for us. He succumbed to his pain, became one with his inferior, spitefulness, even his madness. Although not aiding the actual outer life any, he flowed within himself. Being totally silent, child like. Yet, sinister and a bloodthirsty fiend. Wearing the skin of others stitched in a mask reeking of decayed blood.
His father figure, “Mr. Sawyer”, played by “Jim Sidaw”, was abusive but never totally giving into his desires. Torn between the desire to dominate over his two sons, and to cottle and love them was clearly evident. He too did not care about the horror he both provoked and that he saw and heard. “Bobby Sawyer”, played by “Edwin Neal”, was the older brother of “Bubba”, or “Leatherface”. He was silly, crazed and totally uninhibited to the point of self-mutilation. He loved his brother and apparently had a warm relationship with his silent partner in horror.
As said, “Grandpa” played by “John Doughan”, was totally silent and pleasantly submissive. He went along with his crazed family who took care of him. A family of fiendish, blood lusting killers who “practiced what they preached”.
What was so “wonderful” to me was the fact of total uncaring, passive attitudes directed at their dwelling. Only the old man, or father, grew terribly angered at “Leatherface” for cutting through the door with his old chainsaw. They, like myself, loved their home. They were blissfully happy here amid squalor and filth. Neglect was, as said, widely apparent. Everything torn up and askew. A form of anti-establishment described to the extreme.
Although it was a wonderful story created by “Tobe Hooper” and “Kim Henkel”, they had absolutely no idea of the icon that was taking place. A screenplay destined for greatness in the annals of American history. Also pungently stating fact in reference to that necessary descent into our cosmic inhuman unconscious within us all. Galvanizing energy from the supreme negative, what I call, “The Human Hell”.
Hence, the further testimony of my “inner icon”.
By Patty Augustine 2000 – Age 33