old oak doors

“That was decades ago, Cecil! Anyway, we want to know what we can do to keep your business. We here at StrexCorp Synernists, Inc. are dedicated to the betterment of life through branding, social networking, and upbeat music.”

Really wanted to draw this duo, and I have a feeling that they really loathe each other deep inside :p


So look at the fleeting stars with fleeting eyes, and feel how the earth beneath you gives. It is all a temporary manifestation of particles, and it is all unraveling back to particulate silence. The bustle of the human day will come and will go. And then there will be night.

But how beautiful these moments within the dissolve! What a temporary perfection we can find within this passing world! Everything good ever done! Everything good that was done today, and all the good people doing it, and back and back and forward and forward, all of that beauty within a universe unraveling.

- Cecil Palmer, Welcome to Night Vale, Episode 49 - Old Oak Doors Part B

After the whole umbrella situation, I have a new headcanon that Carlos regularly “invents” things that are already household items.

“Cecil, in order to maximize intake potential, I am going to invent a very scientific machine that will allow us to transport the cereal and milk from our bowls into our mouths. It will LOOK like a spoon, but it’s much more complicated. It will involve a lot of science.”

To me, the saddest part of the Carlos situation isn’t that he’s stuck in the desert. He’ll be fine, this is just another situation he has to “science” himself out of. The sad part was listening him try to come to terms with the fact that the universe considers him an outsider to Night Vale. 

I think Carlos’ predicament really resonates with anybody who has thought a lot about what “home” means. Sure, there’s the place you live, and that might be your home. Or your home might be your friends house, or the city you went to college in. Or it might not be a physical place, it might be when you’re with a certain group of people, or when you’re doing a certain thing. A friend of mine always says she is only at home when she has a violin in her hands. It is so, so important to have these places in life- places where you can be yourself and be comfortable and really feel connected to what’s happening around you.

We hadn’t really known until now how much Carlos identifies with Night Vale. We know he obviously must like it, to stay there for so long, and we know he must plan on staying very long term, since he and Cecil got a place together. But we didn’t know the depth of that sentiment, or if he was aware of his status as an outsider, or if that was a label that he or others in Night Vale even used at all.

Steve Carlsberg makes a comment about Carlos being an “outsider” in the beginning of the episode, so it’s clear that residents of Night Vale are at least aware of the movement of people in and out of their city. But Carlos said that when the last oak door shut, he “remembered” that he wasn’t from Night Vale. This leads us to believe that he had truly begun to call the place home, and that he has every intention of staying there forever. 

But then he delivers that heartbreaking line about how, as far as the universe is concerned, he does not belong in Night Vale. The doors couldn’t shut until everybody was “where they belonged,” and yet, he was not in Night Vale. He is not with Cecil. Anybody who has had their own home ripped away from them- from moving, or losing a friend, or growing up, or anything- knows how devastating it can be to have something mean so much to you, but be unable to reach it.

The universe does not think he belongs in his home. And to me, that is what’s truly heartbreaking.