So, for a little under a week, I’ve been Quentin Collins.
Want proof? Go here: http://windcliff.org
The Dark Shadows Festival was important to me on levels that can never be explained. Ironically, I never did meet David Selby, although here I am.
I may never go to such a Festival again… if only because I don’t want to endanger the pristine memory. I have never laughed as much nor cried as much in three days than I did up at Tarrytown. It was in delight. It was in humility. It was in respect. And twice, it was even in a righteous rage on behalf of those unable to rage, themselves. I’m not used to my emotions being so heightened. I’m glad that they were heightened before I have to batten down the hatches and submerge again.
The most amazing thing was the complete unselfishness in the love from of a number of people. Last summer, when the work was hardest and most friends had fled, I thought of the wisdom of the guy who said, “Hate isn’t the opposite of love. The opposite of love is apathy.”
But the work got done. Yes, I was proud of it, but I kindasorta wanted my friends to be proud, at the least, of me… for having completed it. But I never regretted it.
Buddha was right. So…
I enjoyed the act of writing the Chronicles and the subsequent act of reading them, so yes, I knew it was worth it, but never to the degree I was told in Tarrytown. I had no inkling. None. And if you reached out to me, well….
I traveled hundreds of miles to meet people who’d been my best friends for a year… I just didn’t know it. (Can they move here?)
Now, Quentin, my good man, what brings you to the Foundation?
In contemplating the Dark Shadows story, Quentin is increasingly difficult. He glides by on charm, but what does he do? What does he serve? I have ideas, but I need to test them in the lab. At the Foundation, that means we find another notebook.
Old wine in a new bottle? Not at all. Not for me, anyway.
The conceit now is that a custodian took dictation from Quentin during his stay at Windcliff. Why didn’t he return to normal after Barnabas altered the timeline? Blame the portrait.
Quentin has a lot to confess, and that’s been tricky.
The Chronicles, while being largely the story of Barnabas, contained many, many voices. Most of them were captured at the time of the events.
Here, you have Quentin at a different point. No victrola. No brandy snifter. Nothing but the shadows of his past. He’s not a happy man, and that might come from the fact that it’s not a happy story. If Barnabas symbolizes a life trapped in the closet, Quentin symbolizes a life trapped in the past. When he arrives back at Collinwood, the best of times have gone. Beth resents him. Jenny is mad. Edward’s wife is dead. 1795 tells us the origin story of Barnabas. But 1897 is more Chekhovian. It tells us the aftermath of the origin story of Quentin.
Or is it beginning the next chapter of his origin? These are all the things with which I’m wrestling.
With the Chronicles, my main goal was to tie the end of the story to the beginning. But with Quentin, I simply need to find the end. Yes, it’s a downer for him in 1973. But what he saw as Gerard’s soldiers rampaged is not what is there. What can he learn? What can he teach? How does he heal?
I’m here to find out.