Rich man crying ‘cause his money is time / Poor man smiling ‘cause he knows he ain’t blind
~ Sam Roberts, “Brother Down”
I can remember more than one night I spent wide awake as a child, frightened from a scary movie or some other show I wasn’t supposed to watch. As scared as I was, I knew from experience that the night would eventually be over, and I would be fine, but that wouldn’t dispel the fear. No matter what kind of reasoning I could summon, the fear wouldn’t budge, and I’d be trapped in that awful situation until the sun came up.
Waking my parents to tell them I was scared would do no good. They could only comfort me for a few moments, then turn out the light and leave me again, vulnerable to any and all zombies or giant reptiles that happened to invade my room.
Once they’d left I’d have no choice but to hide completely under the covers, the edges tucked under my body, so that if a wandering bedroom carnivore did happen to eat me, it would just bite cleanly through this neatly packaged child without my having to ever see it happening. I figured that ensuring a sudden and speedy demise was the best I could do in those hopeless situations.
This was not a frequent occurrence but it did happen from time to time, and each time I ached so badly for nighttime to be over. It always came so slowly. I yearned for the sun. It didn’t really matter what the next day would contain, as long as it was light out and there were other people around. I would take anything: unloading the dishwasher, helping my dad organize the garage, standing in line at the 7-11… anything but to be here, alone in the dark. Read More
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