The fear begins in childhood. There’s always some monster under your bed. They lurk in the shadows, hiding in the darkness. Waiting to pounce. Biding time on your dime. There’s nothing under the bed but a dirty sock and some dust bunnies that blow across the floor like miniature tumbleweeds when you breathe on them. Nothing too spooky. Thousands of years ago, the night brought real dangers of wild beasts attacking our ancestors while they slumbered. That’s a good reason to keep the home fires burning. The invention of fire made everything better, especially BBQ, but it also helped to show the flaws and imperfections in our little world at night.
You can’t see what’s out there in the void without a light source. I was envious of kids who had nightlights in their rooms. My parents were old school and didn’t believe in such frivolous luxuries. But kids have it bad enough, usually having a tough time separating reality from fantasy. Most parents told their children they had to go to bed early. And if they didn’t go to sleep, the bogeyman would come and eat them. Not the best idea for kids with wild imaginations and weak bladders.
My wife told me her childhood fear wasn’t the monster under her bed, but rather one that lived inside the bed and would claw its way out through the mattress. With extra-long finger claws like Freddy Krueger’s Nightmare on Elm Street, trying to rip her flesh to shreds. Her mother, who’llturn 93 this year, had a monster under her bed. Mine wasn’t under the bed, it dwelled in the closet next to my bed. My brother and I would look under each other’s bed, but couldn’t see what was hiding in the closet. No doubt, there’s some heavy trauma going around. The frightening things weren’t only under beds. From dusty attics to musty basements. Plenty of spiderwebs and creaky noises to set the mood for spine-chilling fear.
Our jerky reflexes shake and tremble to have our worst fears expose the light of day. Sweating it out and hiding through another dark night huddled under the sheets waiting for sunrise. That kind of fear is a constant reminder that the threat of the unknown is real. Yet we can’t grasp the meaning behind the message. Is it the devil that bewitches us, or God? Neither’s to blame. An otherworldly entity that haunts our waking dreams is merely us? Some inhuman creature who plagues our days and stalks the night?
I discovered the answers to many of life’s questions in rock songs. They can help explain the mystery behind reality’s true lies. Do monsters exist? Are ghosts real? A meditation on the madness within. A tragedy in our modern day paranoia, the comedy’s dilemma we face in the mirror’s reflection. A fun house distortion, or crystal clear vision. Fear gets under the skin when you least expect it. Boo! Gotcha. I’m scared of my own shadow. It may be better to embrace the fears, face them head-on. Scare yourself straight or silly. Become what you fear most. Be the monster within. The dark side’smore fun than reality’s boredom.
Go with the creepy flow. Jump out of your skin and dance them old bones around. My feeling is beauty’s in the eye of the beholder. Even the most hideous creature can have a pretty side. Some would say beautifully ugly. Without fear. Get out from under the bed. The duality makes it well-balanced.