How To Scare Yourself

The other night I had a genuine scare, the kind where you’re not just paranoid or suspicious but actually bordering on the brink of Zoinks, Scoob, let’s get the freak out of here; the first time since…since…well I can’t even remember when. And the best thing about it? It was all in my head. I don’t know if it’s proof of just how powerful our imaginations are or just that I’m going insane but either way, it was cool.

Before I begin my brief tale let me start with a bit of necessary background. I live on an average street lined with houses, just two blocks from the main drag of this small town. There aren’t a lot of lights on my street and the other night it was really foggy and it looked just like the poster for The Exorcist (not the new one, but the one back in the 70s).

So that’s what my street looks like at night.

Moving on.

It was about 4:00 in the morning and I got up to go to the bathroom. Upon waking I heard a noise that sounded like rain on the rooftop. Or maybe snow–snow! The first major snowfall of the year, and I wanted to watch it. I don’t know about you but I love watching it snow at night. It’s just really pretty to me; it’s similar to the kick I get out of watching it pouring rain.

So I look out my bedroom window and…nothing. It had rained but nothing was coming down at that time. And then this thought popped into my head–I don’t know where it came from — of what if there was a guy standing on the sidewalk across the street just looking up at my window.

And that’s when it all started. Suddenly I was sure there was a guy standing across the street staring up at me. I scanned the sidewalk up and down and as I did, the fact that I couldn’t find him began to freak me out a little more (it was 4 in the morning and I was still a little more than groggy). I was enjoying it, though…being scared is sort of fun. How else do you explain the appeal of haunted houses and horrible movies like The Ring?

In my mind’s eye I could see the guy in his dark trenchcoat that was still wet from the rain. I couldn’t make out his face because he stood in the shadows but I knew he was up to no good. And then the questions began.

What if he came up to my apartment? I don’t have much in the way of furnishings, so what would I use as a weapon? I don’t have a baseball bat or golf clubs. Is it possible to really swing an ironing board? What about my lamp? If I swung it too hard would it fall apart in the air before making contact with the intruder? I remember when I moved in here my dad gave me a box of old kitchen supplies and inside was a real life butcher’s knife. It was huge. I remember thinking at the time What am I, in a horror film? Who actually has a knife like this in their kitchen? Well, where was that knife now? Under the sink? In a seldom-used drawer? And do I want to get close enough to this guy to be in stabbing range? What if he has special powers of some sort? And if he does, would an old rusty cleaver really do the trick? The only flashlight I have is down in the car. Where’s my lighter-thing I use to light candles with?

I got even more freaked out.

Now for those of you who may be concerned about my mental state, fear not. Just as quickly as I brought this all about, like flicking a light switch I was able to turn it all off.

I then realized if I kept on this train of thought I wouldn’t be able to get back to sleep. And no way was I going to lose valuable sleep. So I turned around and went back to bed. I was out in like 3 seconds.

Yes folks, a year after signing divorce papers this is how Ed entertains himself . Is it any wonder I’m single again?

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