A most unwelcome visitor came to me last night. One that i haven’t seen in quite some time – and one that i would be simply thrilled to never have to see again.
It begins as it always does – with my bladder gently yet urgently nudging me awake, after feeling neglected for what it thinks is far too long. Rising in a stupor (only after realizing that the task of ignoring it further is just not going to work in either of our favors), i go to the restroom and provide it with the “quality time” it feels is deserving. And then It hits.
Now, i don’t know what exactly “It” is, but it’s there. Standing directly behind me, in front of me, all around me. And it means me grevious harm. i just know it – i can almost feel it’s hot and bloody breath upon my neck – it’s eyes boring into my very soul. It means to not only destroy me, but any memory of me as well. It wants to decimate me, grounding my very existence into the floor. And the worst part is i know that it can.
So much so, that at the age of 42, i still find myself running from the bathroom, eyes shut tight and being careful to avoid looking directly in the mirror. i blindly run down the stairs like a frightened four year old – risking a broken neck in the process – simply to get to the relative safety of my and C’s bed. C sleeping gently through the experience. After several minutes of very close snuggling with her, i finally find myself free of the god-awful fear that recently gripped me, so forcibly as to make me abandon my good senses. Eventually, i fall back to sleep.
Now, i do realize how ridiculous this may sound to the average observer, but to me (in the moment that it takes place at any rate) it’s very real. And much like Carter USM once sang “like many a nut job before him, he thought he was the son of God. And like many a nut job before him, maybe he really was.”, i sometimes almost think that just maybe It is really real. Which scares me even more – for if this “It” is a real something or other, then it must think i’m something worth its destroying. And if i’m something worth destroying, then that implies that i am more valuable then i care to attest to. And if i’m valuable, then that just won’t work well with the low self-esteem i seem to pride myself on. And – well, i’m sure you can walk down the rest of the road i’m headed in without my actually boring you with the details. Suffice to say, if it is real, i’m in a whole other ball of wax.
i have had friends and loves tell me of seeing angels and demons, and shadowy men in dark suits that say nothing – and i believe them, seeing as they are all smart people, who believing it themselves, have no need to lie or fabricate – let alone tell a tale that would potentially diminish their good standing in lieu of enhancing it. That being said, i don’t believe that my particular “It” really exists anywhere other than in my mind – especially the late night mind that is unguarded and not nearly drunk enough to sleep through the protests of a somewhat spoiled bladder. As such, it is still very much an “It” that needs to be dealt with. The question is how?
Do i make light of it? i’ve tried something similar many times in the past, and it has met with a certain amount of success. The best example i suppose i could give would also deal with monsters, but of a different variety. As a youngster, i had the bad habit of trying to be “a man” in a effort to impress my dad. As such, we would watch horror movies, and i would accordingly have the bejesus scared out of me for months afterwards. And i mean months. And by the way, these “horror” flicks were of 50’s vintage, black and white and overall just plain silly (yeah, i was badass). Regardless, after watching several, i had a nice mental army of monsters built up in my imagination, always there and always on the search for a way to, if not outright destroy me (and possibly even eat my head), then at least make my life a living hell.
They were constantly with me in my minds eye, and there were very few places i could go to be in peace from them, one of which was the bathroom (he says as he starts to see potential dots connect…). Then one day it hit me. Instead of running to the bathroom to escape them, i should invite them in with me instead. Surely a sign of friendship such as this might win them over. And (not) surprisingly enough, it did! For a spell, they still followed me around, but now as friends (well, acquaintances at any rate) instead of enemies. And one by one they slowly disappeared, fading to obscurity. And i again “grew in strength and wisdom”.
So, is this It just one final monster? One of my own making, that occasionally tries to pull me back into being that scared little kid again? Or is maybe that scared little kid actually still somewhere deep inside of me, pretending to be a big bad It to scare my slightly-more-sober-than-i-care-to-be mind? And if so, could it all be in a effort to “keep me in my place”, maybe out of fear that i might some day realize my full potential, thus forcing “It” into oblivion?
Quite honestly, i couldn’t give a shit anymore. i’m too damned old for these games or to figure out who or what is behind them – and i feel as if next time It visits, i will tell it exactly as much.
Wish me luck.