The Movie: The Sixth Sense, 1999 (M. Night Shyamalan, screenwriter and director)
Who says it: Haley Joel Osment as Cole Sear, a troubled child
The context: Cole admits the root of his problem to his therapist, Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis)
How to use it: When you’ve lost the ability to take in any more new information. Or when you see dead people.
Ah, you knew this line was coming. What could be more appropriate for the Dia de los Muertos? Sometimes the obvious choice is the right one.
I've been reading a lot of ghost stories lately, as seems appropriate for this time of year. John Connolly's new collection, Nocturnes, is excellent, and includes one story that shook me so badly I couldn't even finish it. The book's not available in the US until next spring, but you can order it from Amazon.co.uk.
Those stories sent me back to M.R. James, whose work I hadn't read since high school. Maybe this isn't healthy reading on the edge of the Maine woods... or then again, maybe this is the best stuff to be reading on the edge of the Maine woods. As Victoria Williams says, what we fear the most meets us halfway.
Which may be why I just can't wait to vote today. Election Day's always been as good as Christmas for me. In Los Angeles, I used to work the polls, which was a fascinating way to see cross-sections of the city I never would have otherwise. (Also, it made me feel young, since I was at least 30 years younger than most of the other pollworkers.)
My gracious hosts are active members of that other political party, although our views aren't really so different. They've been telling me all week that Maine has a special voting schedule for Democrats, and that I don't need to worry about it until Thursday, when they will have a special booth set up just for me. In Boston. These tactics reflect a shocking lack of faith in their own candidate, if you ask me.
The two big issues on today's ballot are whether to impose a statutory cap on property taxes and whether it should be a crime to hunt bears with bait, traps or dogs. My new apartment stands on the edge of a forest; I think I know how I'm voting on the bear question.