We start the chapter with a quote about the staircase. It's going to grow again, isn't it?
Anyway, we're focusing on Tom for now as he sits at the top of the staircase and smokes weed, which is probably rather sensible given the circumstances. Mostly it seems to be focusing on the differences between him and his brother, which are pretty drastic for twins. Although it never actually says whether they're identical or not; if not then it makes much more sense. On the whole, Tom seems to be the one who is most liked, while Navidson commands more respect; makes me feel slightly sad for Navidson, if I'm honest. It starts to compare them to the Biblical twins Jacob and Esau, but then becomes all jumpy because Zampano ripped up the next few pages, citing that they were:
- "too personal."
The scene is interrupted by Johnny, who's getting seriously messed up now. He was just ordered to have a day off after scaring the depraved biker client. Which must have looked kinda funny in a very weird way, this little skinny guy freaking out the biker who could beat the living daylights out of him. He talks about one November's worth of one night stands for him and Lude, which is really rather sad, definitely melancholy more than anything. It makes you wonder what their emotional lives must be like if they just flit from person to person. And from his revisiting the list, it looks like I was right. And he begins to tell "the story of the pekinese", whatever that is. Having read it now, I don't think I could recount it. Poor dog....
Anyway, back to Tom. Talking on the radio to Karen, we find out that she intends to take the kids and leave after Navidson and the rest get back and that her feng shui stuff she'd gotten to improve the house's energies (because of course that would work so well) have disappeared. Tom is getting steadily more scared and stir-crazy, which is totally understandable. His panic when Navidson asks him to meet him at the bottom of the stairs is understandable too, especially seeing as the staircase lengthens before his eyes. You've got to feel sorry for him really.
The chapter ends with a summary of the scene, with a focus on the tenderness with which Navidson edits it. Considering there have been footnotes of Tom's friends talking about him with fondness, I have a very bad feeling that this might be the last that we'll see of Tom, which is a pity as he seems a genuinely nice guy.
Anyway, that's the end of another chapter, which felt more like a stop-gap than anything else. I mean, it did have some interesting and engaging moments, but it was bereft of anything to really stir the intellect or a sense of creepiness. Hopefully next chapter will be more engaging like that.