Black Sabbath's Master of Reality by John Darnielle

Black Sabbath's Master of Reality by John Darnielle

Author:John Darnielle [Darnielle, John]
Language: eng
Format: azw3
Tags: Epistolary, Mental Illness, Music, Historical, Fiction
ISBN: 9780826428998
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Published: 2008-04-14T23:00:00+00:00

October 3, 1995

I think about it every day whether I want to or not, no matter what kind of day I’m having. On a good day, when I remember spending two years locked up getting told what I should and shouldn’t think, I don’t blame anybody. For anything. My parents didn’t know how to deal with an angry teenager, and the people in the hospitals didn’t really know, either: they just tried to act like they did, for money maybe, or perhaps because they really believed it. How they could believe that? I don’t know, because you don’t have to look around those places for long to realize that they’re so fat with sadness it’s a wonder the walls don’t crack.

Which is how I think about it on bad days, which I try not to have, because in my heart I can’t stand to think the worst. I really can’t stand it. If I’m having a long or hard week, though, or if I’m super-bored and wishing I had a different life, I think some really dark things. I think, “the difference between the hospital and an axe murderer is that the axe murderer is trying to kill you quickly, but the hospital is trying to do it slow.” I know this sounds kind of haggard. But I have got to say what I mean here or there isn’t any point.

I think hardly anybody in those places really knew what was going on out on the unit. The nurses stayed in the office or ran groups, and you guys had your sessions, but we lived in our rooms and in the classes and the hallways. So, it might surprise you when I tell you that the main thing we all thought and talked about, amongst ourselves when you weren’t listening, was death. Everybody talked about death all the time. It didn’t scare us. We knew you were all terrified that something was going to happen to us and you’d have to pay for it, and that gave us power. If one kid with enough charisma had floated the idea past us, I’m sure we would have all killed ourselves on the same day just to spite you all.

The song after “After Forever” is just a thirty-second guitar part with a name. There’s almost nothing there. Maybe that is why they called it “Embryo.” It is about the most harmless thing in the world. I’m not sure if it’s two parts recorded separately and then layered on top of each other, or if Tony Iommi is kind of showing off. I can’t even tell what it’s supposed to be, if it’s an introduction to the next song or if I’m supposed to think about it separately. I mean, it has a name, and so does the other instrumental on the album, which is called “Orchid” and happens right after “Children of the Grave,” which is the song right after “Embryo.” One time I had a very deep discussion with my friend Mike about this.


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