Monday, 6 May 2013

Still Afraid of the Dark



I can’t remember if I were afraid of the dark when I was little. I do remember that I would rather pee my bed that get out after the lights had been turned out and mom and dad said goodnight.
 
I’m not sure what I was afraid of most, the monsters that lived under the bed or the ones that lived in the closet. The ones under the bed would grab your feet as they hit the floor and drag you under faster than I could scream. The same goes for the ones in the closet, except you would be weakened from fighting off the under the bed monsters and there would be no way you could defend yourself against the closet guys. Okay, if I have to make a choice I would rather be eaten by the closet monsters because they seem to be a little more refined, and if I am to be killed I want it done with a touch of class.

Now that I am an adult I don’t fear monsters under the bed or in the closet. I am far too big to be dragged under the bed, and there is so much shit in the closet, there is no way a monster would be able to fit in. Oh and there probably isn’t anything like monsters in the real world. I do wonder just how I as a child came up with the whole monster in the dark terror. I suspect it was a ploy used by mom and dad to cut down the 23 requests for water and the 24 requests to go to the bathroom. If that is the case then mom and dad were bastards! What a mean thing to do.

Years later I would be out late with my buddies at the cottage and at the end of the night we would walk back to the cottage from wherever we had been. Invariably, I would be the last guy and have to walk a half mile or so in the dark by myself. While I was with the guys, I would be laughing and joking and generally not having a care in the world. When the last guy left, all of a sudden, that simple gravel road that I had walked back and forth a thousand times would become a road of terror. Of course it was overgrown by trees so I didn’t even have stars to light the way, I just had to follow the faint grey and a crunch of sneakers on gravel. I would hear all sorts of terrifying noises that left me white as a sheet, sweating and out of breath at the back door of the cottage
 
Noises like the moaning of all the dead from the area that for one reason or another objected to teenage boys being out in the woods at night. The woods are also where all sorts’ nocturnal, meat eating animals lived and hunted. I could take a raccoon, but if a raccoon and a porcupine came after me I would be done for. I don’t even want to think about wolverines, wolves, wild dogs, large cats and if there were enough mosquitoes, all that would be left of me would be a desiccated shell lying on the road in the morning that sort of looked like Ken. I haven’t mentioned the escaped, homicidal maniacs that are know to wander the woods in cottage country.
 
I couldn’t admit to being afraid and asking someone to walk me back to the cottage of course. That would mean I was chicken and besides, I seriously doubt anyone would have been willing to walk back to their cottage in the dark. This was just something I would have to deal with on my own, and face my fears. Time to man up. I stayed in the cottage for quite a while at night claiming I had homework that needed to be done, or that my parents needed me to play cards with them.

Lucky for me, I got old enough to stay home from the cottage on weekends by myself and although I did miss the swimming and fun that I had there, I never had to admit that I was still afraid of the dark.




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