Things That Go Bump

Mood: doomed | Drinking: chemicals

night_terror

Night Terrors

The things that come for us now in the dark
do not wear the faces of our childhood monsters.

There is no boogeyman or closet troll
lying in wait when the lights go out,
but still we curl beneath covers,
reduced to small sniveling things
too scared to open our eyes.

In the dark we discover the fragility of our happiness.
We realize disappointment is not an “if” but a “when”.
We discover that betrayal is unavoidable.

We suffer premonitions of catastrophe.
Panic of dying alone. Within every shadow
lurk specters of bankruptcy, layoffs and loss.

The rituals once used to banish the ogre under the bed
gave us some small sense of control, so we adapt,
develop defensive OCD tendencies,
flicking the light switch ON-OFF-ON-ON-OFF
before turning down the sheets.

When daylight finally appears, it does little to assuage us.
The pretense of normalcy comes more naturally
once we’ve been groomed and caffeinated, yes,
but the newspapers these days print our nightmares as headlines.

Late for work, we run back into the house from the garage
three separate times
to make sure the stove’s really off.
As if caution will prevent
the inevitable electrical fire
already smoldering inside the walls.

When we come home later to fire trucks,
we feel almost relieved.

We always knew disaster was only a matter of time.

*****

-Lo, who is only afraid of the dark after watching scary movies when Boy is away.

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