I just had a David Lynch dream. No, not a dream that was Lynch-esque. A dream with David Lynch in it. He was playing the Devil. He was sitting behind a desk, in this seedy Fifties motel room, talking to me in this threatening way, and as he spoke, his words would suddenly speed up, or the light bulbs around him would flare, or fire would suddenly burst from his hands.
In the dream, I was Dale Cooper, and I started to confront the Devil, and even mock him. I remember thinking ‘fuck it, I was never one for this world’. Then he shot me in the stomach, like Dale was shot at the end of Series One of Twin Peaks. My last words before I woke up were ‘why did you go and do a thing like that?’
I woke up, and for some reason immediately thought about how Lynch’s work is often, really, about the Devil, in one form or another. The closest thing to him in American literature is maybe Nathanial Hawthorne, who is also obsessed with the Devil, in a very Puritan way.
If you read his short stories, you come across the same idea as you meet in Twin Peaks – if you leave the narrow comfort of the town and head out into the woods, devils and demons are waiting for you out there, to test your soul.