Preface: It has been almost three years and my writing has been missing in my life for most of it. After the first part was published (here), I had quite a few people mention looking forward to reading the rest. My intent was to create images that might help recognize our nature, of sometimes creating things in our minds or reacting to our environments in non-fictional ways. I will do my best to continue to fight my own monsters here.
With the blankets over me, I can still hear the storm raging outside. For the moment, though just a little quieter but I know it’s there, waiting for me. I’ll just stay here a little longer. Yeah, just a few more minutes, by myself. Alone, again. Not like I haven’t been here before, with only me and this little world under the covers. I wish it would stop, then I could rest. I could move on to the morning, when the world lights up again…but I’m stuck here.
First the sadness that I don’t have someone to hold my hand like before. I could call out, someone might hear me and then they would come and check on me. They would ask me what’s wrong and then tell me it’s going to be okay. That all those things outside of my blanket wall aren’t really there. It’s just the storm and I’m okay. But they won’t believe me when I tell them I’m scared, it’s just my imagination.
Then sadness sets in; no one will understand. I know it’s just a storm. I know it’s just my imagination, but I’m paralyzed. My fear is real…these monsters I’ve created have existed for all of creation. I can remember times before when a blanket piled on top of things looked like a giant moose head, staring at me. I remember looking out the window on a seductively peaceful night and seeing the shapes of things that in the morning were only tall trees with vines.
I will pull the blankets closer, I can do this. I can weather the storm. And at that moment, to emphasize the point, thunder booms and rattles the windows. It seems to yell, “I AM STILL HERE, I CAN CRUSH YOU ANY MOMENT.” And I think for a moment on how small I am, still alone.
I could fight. I could jump out of this safe bed and run to the light switch. I could open the door to my room and go out into the rest of the house. But isn’t this safer than new shadows in new rooms!? New shapes trying to trip me, unexplored dark spaces luring me into the darkness. No. Here is good.
Exhausted, my mind continues to race from one side to another; Do something? Stay here. Closet door sits open to the unknown. Warm blankets to keep me away from danger. Things hiding until they can reach me when my feet get to the floor. That world is dangerous. This world, this one I’ve created around me in this moment, is safe.
Slowly sleep wears me down as my thoughts keep turning over and over. I can feel the hands of the monsters slipping around my mind, pulling me closer to a world where dreams become nightmares. I can only resist for so long. Eventually I close my eyes for the last time. This is it, this is how it ends.
Drips. Drips on the window sill. No wind? Pulling back the covers I flinch at the brightness. Blinking off the night, my eyes slowly focus on the room. Sunlight is peaking through the tree outside my window. The room hasn’t changed. My clothes sitting in a pile where I left them, even the shirt I was wearing yesterday still on top, untouched where I tossed it. The last remnant of a past from ages ago.
Even the sun feels like it will be warm. And I could go find other people and will be okay. I was being silly and letting my mind run wild. It’s going to be okay. There’s a new day, new beginnings, new things to do.
Light tapping comes from the window from a gentle breeze, almost as if the tree is telling me it was only kidding last night. That closet still cracks with darkness inside, only opened two inches. The pictures and posters on the walls that taunted me before are smiling, are they laughing at me?
I still feel small and shaken, I muster the courage to start planning ways to fight the night when it comes up again. Creating a checklist in my head: Pick up laundry, get new posters, lock the closet, put a flashlight next to my bed…I know it will happen again. And I’ll have to be prepared.
But I will end up doing the same things again. Eventually I’ll feel safe and forget about this night. Everything will be normal for awhile. Then sneak up on me and I’ll find myself alone with the monsters of my mind.