Traditionally, bathers at Japanese hot springs are expected to rinse off before entering the soothing waters. However, exceptions are made for the monkeys.
In a remote part of Japan, known as “Hell’s Valley” due to its rugged landscape and bubbling hot springs, the Japanese macaque have learned to warm their monkey parts next to the human visitors. It is not uncommon to see several of these every social creatures kicking it together in a hot bath during the day before heading back into the forest for the night.
"I’ve been drinking my whole life. I started when I was 8. My father was an alcoholic. Whiskey and bourbon… were his choice. After he got his glass, he’s come and he’d tuck me in. First, he’d ask me about my day. Then he’d, like… he’d move his hands up my leg. Told me everything was gonna be okay. It was never okay. I’d just bury my head into my pillow and wait until it was over. And when he was done, I’d just lie there quietly."
Can we just talk about the range of emotions covered within barely few minutes of this scene? Can we talk about this build-up of responses he shows with his eyes and that show on his face only. He barely says a thing and yet it feels like he’s screaming with: shame, pain, defeat turning to confusion, disbelief and irritation all of which finally explodes into blind, all-consuming rage. You can see layers of defenses tearing apart bit by bit until there is nothing left but bleeding with raw bitterness and fury core of his broken broken soul. Just look at that first shot: all vulnerability and suffering. And then final sequence: set on fire with his wrath. And it’s all in his eyes and on his face. With barely few lines of dialogue used. Just goddamn give mister Tucker all the film leads and cast him in all the TV shows out there and be done with it.
Listen: Sufjan Stevens – No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross
Stevens is back, strumming his guitar and sighing all beautifully about love and blades and getting drunk. His album Carrie and Lowell is due out on Asthmatic Kitty records on 30 March (UK/EU) and 31 March (US).
Read the full song lyrics below (and on YouTube, if you so desire):
"Now that I fell into your arms My only lover Give out to give in I search for the capsule I lost
Drag me to hell In the valley of The Dalles Like my mother Give wings to a stone It’s only the shadow of a cross
I slept on my back In the shade of the meadowlark Like a champion Get drunk to get laid I take one more hit when you depart
I’ll drive that stake through the center of my heart Lonely vampire Inhaling its fire I’m chasing the dragon too far
There’s blood on that blade Fuck me, I’m falling apart My assassin Like Casper the ghost There’s no shade in the shadow of the cross”
An Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works
[SLAMS FIST ON TABLE]
WELL ISN’T THIS A BLAST FROM THE PAST EH
Now, the reason I “quit” this is because I got saddled with a big, giant, massive scholarship deal. [*tears* bby’s goin 2 college 2 write *tears*] When I say “deal”, I mean, write 97 novels, cry, grovel, beg, cry more, maybe flip a table. Ay.
Buuuuuuuut guess when the due date for all of that hard-ass work is? Today.