There was a killer in my basement.
Don’t ask me how I knew – I just did. Call it woman’s intuition, call it whatever you want. But I knew.
But for some reason, I went down there anyways. Though an eerie, waiting feeling lurked in the air, I went about the mundane tasks reserved for basements: digging through dirty clothes, collecting a pile of my old favorites, and discovering a cache of unmatched socks, which I reflected honestly didn’t matter – they disappeared in the dryer anyway.
Humming, I threw all the clothes in together, started the washer, and…it didn’t start. Fiddling with knobs and gizmos, I finally gave up in disgust and gave it a healthy kick. It groaned once, shivering, then ground to a halt.
Suddenly, as I stuck a frustrated head over the contents of the lamest washer in the world, my skin prickled. Blood tingled through my entire body, and I knew…
I wasn’t alone.
I turned slowly. And there he was. Face almost devoid of expression, dead eyes…but a leering, ugly mouth.
He started to walk slowly towards me. Frantically, I picked up the first thing I could find and threw it right at his grinning face. It bounced off, and he walked on, unhurt and still grinning.
I backed up and my grasping fingers found a hammer. I hurled it as hard as I could, but he seemed made of rubber, deflecting it with ease and walking on. Grinning.
I didn’t want to turn my back on him, but I had to – I had run out of things to throw. Gasping, I whirled and groped about the floor, desperate to find something that would stop his infernal grinning.
All my frantic fingers found was the unmatched pile of socks. I grabbed up one and whirled back to face the horror…
Who was now right in front me. He stood, grinning, leering. Started to reach out a long-fingered hand towards me.
I snapped. Hurling my one, futile sock at his ugly face, I then stood, paralyzed, waiting for a reaction.
He laughed. The idiot laughed. And kept laughing, a whining cackle that started small, mewling in his throat, then grew until it echoed off the bare, limestoned walls.
Still laughing, he reached out to grab me…
And I woke up.
We’ve all been there, yes? It starts at four, when you are afraid to sleep alone because a blue raccoon lives in your closet and only comes out at night.
Age six creeps up on you, and your dreams now include sophisticated plots and complex subplots, in which you are lost, trapped in a maze-like mansion, with disappearing friends and family members popping up unexpectedly, only to disappear the next time you turn your back (why did you turn your back?!).
You are now ten, and anacondas, which you did not know could swim, rival Michael Phelps for speed as they chase your wind-milling form for many pool lengths.
And so it goes. Why is it that that one can remember nearly every nightmare in vivid detail, but only a handful of the most breathtaking dreams?
I tried to remember them one time, I really did. I do remember one delightful dream that consisted of my being a brilliant detective – we pause for a brief moment to thank our sponsor, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – which I thoroughly enjoyed. Once I slipped into Narnia, disguised as Lucy, and had a rollicking good time. Unfortunately, fleeting, airy memories are just teases, overshadowed by the horror that is your subconscious.
That’s life, which, also unfortunately, tends to run the same gamut as dreams. The bad bits that you are unable to fast-forward seem to take up twice the amount of time that the good bits do, until you give up in disgust.
Don’t. Don’t give up trying to remember the good times, for they are there. Perhaps fleeting, perhaps airy – but there.
You woke up this morning, yes? That is good. You are breathing, perhaps the sun is even shining? Remember that.
You have a family, one you love and cherish? A nice home? Food? Other things less important, but that still bring joy? Cherish them.
God didn’t create this life to be easy – but he did create love. Laughter. Life. A vacuum in each human heart that will never be satisfied by anything but Him. A beauty that is more breathtaking than any dream, more unimaginable than any nightmare.
That’s why the bad times will never outweigh the good, because the good is so much richer and fuller than the bad could ever be.
Which me makes me glad I don’t live in my dreamworld. Tonight could be an interesting one…
Blue raccoons aren’t real.