Many of you have probably been wondering what happened to Danbury legend Nyarlathotep (we called him The Crawling Chaos back in the day). For those of you who only knew him from his starring role in the local television show “My Three Soul-Eating Demons”, pull up a chair. It’s a long and painful story.
Television actually wasn’t ‘Tep’s big break. His original story was penned by a guy named HP Lovecraft in a truly rotten pulp fiction story. HP totally fell in love with the guy (and who couldn’t? The beast was enormously charismatic) and actually named the story after him. ‘Tep felt that this was a lucky break for him, and he took the story with him to the local TV networks along with the script for his new tiny sitcom. The network guys ate it up, and he was on television within a month – HP even got a nice little stipend from the deal.
If you will indulge my reminiscence for a moment…those were the days. We used to sit on the milk-crates outside of Beaver Street drinking beer and eating the brains of rats that he would snag with his tentacles. He would turn to me and say “Stef, so help me. Ain’t nothing in this world that’s going to stop me. I’m going straight to the top.” All you had to do was look in his multi-hued eyes (as many as you could see at that moment, anyway) and you knew ‘Tep was destined for greatness.
Then, one day, he went and bet it all. People spoke a lot of negativity about this move, but I knew that his desire was burning in his belly like brimstone. ‘Tep went and dumped What’s-Her-Name from Immaculate High (that pretty little Gug who went on to model action figures for Hasbro), dropped out of High School (he said he’d be back when he made it big, that he would “buy that shitty school”), packed up his bags, used his sitcom money to buy a Greyhound ticket, and headed for Hollywood to make it big. I drove him to the bus terminal and waved to him as the bus pulled away. He looked hopeful and happy.
In typical ‘Tep fashion, it seemed like he couldn’t be stopped. He was in extra in a couple movies (including Jerry McGuire. He told me he actually met Cuba Gooding, Jr. “Real good guy,” he said), landed a starring role on Buffy (before it got bad), and made ends meet waiting tables during the day. He used to call me collect to tell me about all the people he had met at the restaurant. Then, finally, he got a nibble for a starring role. It seems that Tarantino is a big pulp fiction fan (hence the movie) and he was in the restaurant reading “Nyarlathotep” by HP when he caught a site of the big man serving salmon to a pretty California blonde that he was simultaneously choking with his tentacles. Quentin apparently did a double-take, recognized ‘Tep’s face on the spot, called him over, and cast him for the starring role of “Nyarlathotep: The Crawling Chaos” right then and there.
The movie was shot on location and shown at the premier US film festivals, and (of course) was met with both revulsion and praise. The critics agreed on one thing – ‘Tep was hot. The awards and movie offers started pouring in. He was featured in US Magazine’s “100 Hottest…uh…Thingies”. He had made it.
Here’s where things start turning ugly. Apparently, ‘Tep got a big bonus check when his agent brokered a deal for a plush teddy bear for the kiddies. Nyarlathotep decided to have one of his big parties (and you Danbury natives remember how those used to go down), and invited all the luminaries – Johnny Depp, Reese Witherspoon, and that asshole Cthulhu, who apparently decided to make a visit.
Everyone I’m sure remembers how much power Cthulhu used to have over ‘Tep, for reasons that still defy my every explanation. Cthulhu showed up with two bottles of Hennesy and a full ounce of Bolivian cocaine. After a few drinks, ‘Tep did a few lines with his Supreme Asshole Cthulhu. I can just picture the scene in my head, ‘Tep flushing his entire future down his many misshapen
Things started to fall apart. Halle Berry left him. He was fired from his starring role in an unnamed movie (billed by Variety as “the next Steel Magnolias”) for constant truancy. On the set of “Everyone Loves Raymond,” he apparently wouldn’t leave his trailer, and the police were called after they found the severed flesh of the intern dangling out of the window. After awhile, not even Lucas would touch him with a ten-foot pole.
Next thing I heard, he was doing Dutch porn films (never released in the US) in an attempt to support his $1,000 dollar a day coke habit (he had a lot of nostrils), and was drinking non-stop. He lost his house, his car, and his yacht – a blow I know hurt him dearly, since he wasn’t even able to visit the Deep Ones anymore for comfort. He completely fell of the radar, and stopped calling me. That was five years ago…
Until yesterday, when I received an email from him. It was a little message about how “42 mens and 22 womans die from AIW” (a terrible tragedy to be sure), but this was just a little icebreaker. Without apology, he told me a bit about his life. For those of you who can’t speak the tongue of ancient R’leyh, he says he’s doing much better. He checked into rehab and he’s now following the 12 step program. He’s living in Des Moines, of all places, and he says his girlfriend is expecting quite soon. He seems happy – battleworn, but happy – and promises to come by to visit us very soon, maybe even devour the souls of a couple of innocents for old times sake. I promised to keep his seat warm on the old milk crates, and I’ll let you all know when he swings this way again.