Friday, January 10, 2014

Coated In Fear

Perception can be a powerful thing.

In my home, perception is occasionally not only powerful, it's downright disconcerting. That fact presents itself ,seemingly more often than not, during the wee hours. We see something, and depending on how we perceive it we react to it.

Take my experiences one night last autumn. I think it was approximately an hour after I drifted off to sleep that something aroused me. A somewhat muffled sound at first, it grew louder -and it was coming from the walk-in closet of my bedroom. It was a sliding -a dragging sound which took me from a state of rem-inspired bliss to a sense of mortal terror.

I didn't dare reach for the lamp on my night stand, fearful that I might bump something and give away my position in the dark, not that whatever it might be wouldn't already know everything about me, including what my shorts looked like.

That was a moot point, as it turned out, since my eyes were rapidly adjusting to the dark. I think I could actually feel my pupils expanding, trying to take in the minuscule amount of light emanating from my Boxer dog night light perched next to the towel rack in the bathroom. Upon reflection, I'm not sure that that was a good thing. As I rubbed my eyes, I saw something move in the closet. And what I saw was no hallucination or dream. What I saw was entirely, physically impossible. And yet I saw it move -and it froze me to my bed.

I saw the upper half of a man's body lean to the right and fall to the floor, making an unnatural, rattling sound. Worse, there was a horrible wheezing sound which sounded too close for comfort.

"Hold it right there!" I yelled out, trying to cover the utter terror I felt at the moment. "I'm armed and I see you. Do not move!" It took me a moment to find the lamp's switch in the dark, especially being entirely unwilling to take my eyes off of the spot where I saw Mr. Half-Man slide. When I did finally find the switch, the room was filled with safety, security, and no half-man. What it was filled with was a suit jacket which had been pulled off of its hangar and dragged to the floor by a stack of boxes filled with hardware, coins, pencils, and a tube of Neosporin from 1999, all of which conspired to rouse me from deep sleep to a semiconscious state of incoherence reminiscent of a Browns game. My perceptions skipped ahead several steps within the span of four seconds as I first recognized that no threat actually existed, then to humor as I could only laugh, and finally to frustration from seeing the horrible mess I'd have to clean up in a few hours.

In retrospect, I should have picked up that junk at that moment. I certainly wasn't going to fall asleep anytime soon with my adrenaline coursing through me by the gallon. I decided instead to take a walk around the neighborhood instead, in order to work off the powerful hormone/neurotransmitter and perhaps scare away the stray cat who thinks the area under the bush by my front door was raked specifically for his restroom convenience.

Oh, the wheezing sound mentioned a moment ago was me. Sometimes I get that way when I need water. In my half-awake state I couldn't recognize the source.

I haven't found a way to do it yet, but I'm determined to store my suit and shirts horizontally without wrinkling them. I'm not sure I can endure another apparition like the one made at the "Men's Wearhouse". That kind of pressure is horrific.

It leaves one coated in fear.



  1. Ouch! But of course leaving the things on the floor would have resulted in further injury when I walked over them the next day . . . . Glad you survived the heebie-jeebies--I have entertained them a few times myself.

    1. I think I got everything picked up. I think...