When the night comes, I tremble with fear.
It is pretty obvious at this point I am going through some things. Most of them are in the deep caverns located only in my mind and others are out in the real world. Unfortunately I cannot blatantly say what either are. No, I am not considering suicide and no, me and Cal are very, very happy. I just go down a dark path every now and again. Sometimes I come back to the light a little quicker than others. This time it has been a hard and rocky road…if even it was a road, path, avenue, whatever.
Lately, I have discovered that when it gets dark or when it gets late, I become afraid. Not so much of the dark. I am afraid of sleep. Lets back up for a moment, shall we? As a child, I was always afraid of the dark. There were monsters in the dark. Even after my Uncle forced me to watch Nightmare on Elm Street II, I would not sleep with some appendage hanging off the bed or with the closet doors open lest something grab me and drag me away. As I entered into my teenage years, the whole “stay totally on the bed” thing remained but the things in the dark that scared me changed. I was afraid of some stranger waking me from my sleep. If I kept my eyes open in the dark, I would imagine horrible things coming into view and murdering me or dragging me off…half alive. Noises didn’t help. Shadows didn’t either.
Cal used to laugh at me and Number Twenty Two years ago. Both of us had the same habit. If we had to shut the light off and walk across a room in the dark, we would flip the switch and race across the room like something was after us. Thinking about it while not experiencing it seems crazy, I know but its not. I don’t know about our son but for me, it was a very real fear and it did not feel good. Your blood becomes hot as your heart races and forces it through your veins the very second the sound of the “flip” from the light switch would reach your ears. Fight or flight ensues and you take off running, trying to race darkness out of the room. Obviously one never wins that race because you are running through the room which darkness has already enveloped. Loser. Once you get to where you are going; be it the other door, the bed, the couch, whatever, the fear leaves you. Only, it is not so easily spat out. It gradually leaves. While it only takes a few seconds to return to normal, your inner self notes that it seems a great deal longer than that. Even after spending four decades on this planet and am fully aware of what can and cannot be in the room as well as knowing what will go bump, it still does not help. There are certain rooms that I will still flip the switch and run. Dark and I are simply not friends. We never have been. Looks like never will be. (Hrmm, maybe I will be forced to roam this earth forever, hiding not in the shadows but in the light. I wonder if this makes me one of the “angels” that play with babies when they are first born? Ah, I digress. That, dear readers, is a story for another day.)
Back to the dark.
I am not sure words would suffice to describe how I feel when the sun sets. Its primordial fear. Pure and absolute. I want to run screaming into the night and never return but where would I go and what would I do when I outran that fear? That is scary all by itself. I feel the blood rush through every single vein in my body. Almost like I am becoming self aware or something. My heart begins to race and then sets itself to cruise control until I am able to make myself go into a fitful sleep. Sometimes, I have a beer or two to help me become drowsy. Sometimes I take a migraine pill. (Yea, I have a script for these people, I am NOT a pill junkie.) Anything I can do to force myself to sleep. It is not that I am NOT sleepy, I am just afraid of what dreams will bring or what the last thought which enters into my head will be. I have been having very vivid dreams as of late. Most of them relate to my novel. That is ok, The really good ones stick with me and I get them on paper before they vanish from my memory but the other things are what haunt the voices in my head. Horrible, vivid premonitions. Evil laughter and murderous visions.
It is simply not fair. Sometimes I think, the fear of the dark is a cakewalk compared to this. Not only does it make me afraid of myself and whatever is creating this discomfort for me, it makes me sad. I find it hard to describe to my family what is going on and when I just refer to it as “whatever is going on in my brain” they just go “Oh, that.” Its alright. They are not being callous or cold. They are just tired of seeing me torture myself like this and want it to be better. Only, nobody knows how.
I am not one to go to the doctor for such things and I am certain they will just give me some sort of medication to “make it all better” but I don’t want to be medicated. I just want it to go away. Its like smoking. Just. Flippin. Quit. I know its hard. For me, even eleven years later, I still chew the hell out of a pen when we go on road trips. But I have not had a cigarette, have I? Nope. Any crutch or debilitating “feeling” is going to leave its mark on you. That is just life. You just try to live with it.
At work, when it gets busy, we all talk about “Once more….into the breach! AAAAHHHHGGGGGHHHH!!!!” This is exactly how I feel with ever sunset. I don’t see it getting any better any time soon. Now that I have put this out there, I think I should take it like that. Face my fear. Fight it. Run into the breach, rifle above your head, screaming….into the night.
Out run the darkness. Face your fear. Grab it and make it yours.
That is the ONLY WAY!
What do YOU think?