1968 proved a veritable avalanche of confusion. Martin Luther King was murdered. McCarthy knocked off LBJ in the Primaries; then LBJ resigned. Robert Kennedy knocked off McCarthy in the California Primaries and was shot and killed by Sirhan Sirhan.
By that time my good buddy and I had an apartment over a garage and a little black and white TV hooked up to an outdoor antenna—not just rabbit ears—and so being in the LA basin we could pick up a number of channels. We got into watching late night horror movies—mostly vampires, and Frankenstein stuff, but especially Mummies—Return of the Mummy; the Mummy’s Return; Mummy Rising; Mummy’s Revenge—there were an unbelievable number of bad black and white mummy movies. They were all sponsored by this Ralph Williams who had a car dealership and did his own advertisements.
The Mummy movies were all alike. These stupid people would unearth the Mummy, and wrapped up usually in big bandages, he would start to pursue the Avatar of his long lost love who had been buried with him. The poor guy must have been as horney as hell and figured that, given his decayed condition, the only person who would accept him was his own true love. The poor fuck hadn’t learned that you simply can’t repeat the past; especially when the past is like 3000 years ago. But there he would be on his dumb journey just like all the rest of us in search of true love and looking to get laid.
I must have identified with the Mummy. As I said, at first losing the stigma of my virginity was uplifting but then things got as confusing as ever. At what point did quantity lead to quality; when did repeated copulation convert to the higher state of marriage. Or did it? I just didn’t the fuck know. In the past, getting the girl knocked up had taken care of the decision for a lot of people, but the pill had taken care of that as a sort of inevitability. And there was this “free love” stuff in the air, though love is never free. I was as dumb and stupid as the mummy.
So the Mummy rises again, like a long defunct phallus, and wants to possess his Avatar, his female co-conspirator, but one must asked, who here is possessed really? One must conclude I believe that the Mummy is possessed by the memory of his true love. He is in the hands of the compulsion to repeat. But I unlike the mummy did not wish to possess because that meant being possessed. I felt something breaking up in my chest and felt rising to my lips, like the Mummy, not words but a grim howl.
So I turn on the TV to see Kennedy gloat about his victory over McCarthy, whom I had wanted to win. I scorn him in my heart as an craven opportunist and I start to turn the TV off as he left the podium. But they are talking about something and then they are screaming, “Kennedy has been shot.”
It was like the Mummy was rising again.