Archive for October 9th, 2010
When I was a child I was afraid of every shadow. Maybe it was cultural, maybe it was generational, but the adults related to me thought it important to threaten me with either kidnappings by gypsies, monsters, or goats (apparently they liked to eat little children and came out at night), anytime I wanted to do something they didn’t feel like doing. Certainly, one of those three was out to get me, waiting until I was alone and then snatching me quickly and throwing me in a sack carried for just such an occasion.
I was a timid child and maybe not so bright, because I must have been twelve when I finally figured out that it was all a big, fat lie. Still, the damage was done and I continued sleeping with a night light on for many more years. To this day, to be alone in complete darkness raises my hairs on end, and every little creak is a monster’s footstep.
When the movie Psycho came out in the nineties I went to watch it with my husband, thinking that I was an adult and to be scared of something make believe was indeed silly. Maybe I actually thought that or maybe he insinuated something to that effect, because there I was popcorn and pop in my lap, waiting for the movie to begin. And was I brave? Let’s just say that for weeks after I only took a shower if my husband was home, preferably standing there and talking to me. Even now, if I am on a trip somewhere alone, that shower image pops in my head and I choose to bathe instead.
The funniest thing about this is that I am around people in the autumn of their lives. I am right there when they pass from this life to the next, and I often am the person who takes the pulse and listens for that last heartbeat. And did I mention that the house I live in has been used as a hospice and still is? Yet, none of these things frighten me. I go through the dark house at night and feel no fear. There’s nothing lurking in the shadows.
But ask me to watch a scary movie and I will have a month of sleepless nights.
Also (and totally unrelated)… I am super excited to announce that one of my posts is featured in the current issue of the Creative Nonfiction journal. Hurray for me! Here is the link to The Woman.