Chapter 2: The Way Less Traveled By

Tell Me What You Know About Night Terrors, Nothing; Writing Monsters into Shape

It’s just after midnight as I’m writing this, and I’m not awake by choice.

I was told that being scared at night of supernatural things was something I would grow out of.  Maybe I’m not done growing, or maybe I never will.  I think the only improvement now from when I was a child is that for each of the thousand times nothing happens to me when I’m terrified at night, I’m slightly more reassured I’m going to make it through the night this time.

Tonight, I’m not yet confident enough to close my eyes.

So I sit writing in my warm halo of light with Explosions in the Sky music infusing a sense of well-being in me.  Maybe I can write the monster out.  Turn it into words, into sensible black and white shapes on the screen, and those horrible images that are so clear, they might as well be imprinted on the inside of my eyelids, the images that inspire such senseless fear, images that make it so hard to be alone, will finally go into the land of all I’ve forgotten.

I hate it, because every memory I try to hold onto slips through my mind like the exit is only a screen door through which happiness breezes out as easily as it breezes in.  In contrast, fear is a monster with tentacles that hold onto the edges of my mind, so many that I can never dislodge all of them, so it always comes flowing back, hiding in the currents of my imagination.

I’m less terrified now.  A monster is less scary when it has a shape.


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