Sunday, November 6, 2011

None of my friends have long fingernails

When I was a kid, my parents dropped me off at my aunt's house for the day. I was four or five. Or six.

I can't recall it was so long ago.

My aunt had 10 cats, a creepy husband, and a daughter (my cousin) who had so much metal in her mouth her lips had track marks. (You whipper snappers who bitch about your clear plastic "braces" don't know how good you have it!)

The creepy husband liked to watch creepy movies. My cousin and I liked to sit behind the couch and pretend we were playing with Barbies, but really what we were doing was sneaking peeks at the horror movies he was watching.

Because listening to the blood curdling screams wasn't enough.

That fateful day I happened to catch a creature of some kind walking down a hall. A little girl was sleeping in her bedroom. The creature wrapped his fingers around the door frame and peered in on the girl.

To this day I remember those fingers and fingernails: long, bony fingers and talon-like nails. Slowly wrapping themselves around the wooden frame of the door.

Then, the creature's head. Sloooowly peering in.

My parents paid dearly for that day of freedom. As I lay in bed that night I stared at the door frame, convinced I could see the tips of the creature's fingernails. Convinced that the second I closed my eyes he would peer in on me and eat me.

I told them as much.

Night after night. Month after month.

"I can see him!" I'd scream. "He's going to get me!" Sometimes it was right at bedtime. Sometimes it was in the middle of the night.

I believe my mother entitled this phase "We hate you" in my childhood scrapbook.

I remembered all this as I stood next to Junior's bed tonight. We let him watch Cars 2. As he lay there, his stuffed animals tucked sweetly underneath his armpits, he said, "My mind keeps seeing the mean cars. I don't want to close my eyes."

My first thought was, I so feel his pain. It was in his very bedroom that I'd slept as a child and given myself all those panic attacks. I knew exactly what he was going through.

Poor kid.

My second thought was, Please don't let this fuck up our sleep. Please. I just want to sleep.

Or maybe that was my first thought. During the opening credits.


Keely said...

The first Cars freaked X out, with 'Frank' the scary farm machinery. Lately it's been "hot lava" pervading his dreams. I don't know where that came from.

When I was a kid it was the Blob and the Body Snatchers. I think it's just part of being a kid, sadly, but I hope it didn't fuck with your sleep.

VandyJ said...

No nightmares from Bruiser yet, but Turbo has had his fair share. The most recent was zombies. the only way I could get him back to sleep (and therefore me) was to convince him he should make the zombies funny instead of scary--see them in pink tutus, with big clown feet, carrying purple puppies--silly stuff. It worked.

Small Town Mommy said...

My younger daughter comes up with all these bizarre fears when it is time to go to bed. I figure she's just trying to sleep in my bed.

SmartBear said...

Seriously...that movie fucking pissed me off. I wrote a whole post about it, so I'll spare you but for realz. PISSED OFF. G rating my ars.
I thought this post was going to provide some kind of cosmic connection of my loathing of long and painted fingernails. But alas, it's just CARS 2. LOL.
Hope you got sleep.

lisa(rambler) said...

Yes, that would have been my first worry as well..that he not cause me to have to get up at night to comfort him. Luckily The Kid is frightened by characters like Skelator and spiders in the bathroom that may or may not be there.

Stacy Uncorked said...

Ugh, thanks for the warning - Little Dude's bio-mom is sending the Cars 2 movie for him for Christmas...I might have to accidentally on purpose misplace it until he's older. Or as a housewarming present when he grows up and moves into his own apartment. ;)

Man! There are a lot of holes in my neighborhood

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