The Boogie Monster

“It waits till the midnight hour to come, To torture me for the wrong I’ve done, It just sits there and stares at me, And it won’t let me get any sleep, I’m just waiting on the sun to rise, Oh, how I wish that old sun would rise, I got a monster in my closet, Someone’s underneath my bed, The wind’s knocking at my window, I’d kill it but it’s already dead” – Gnarls Barkley

I’ve had these strange and vivid dreams lately. The other night I was on a bus in New York City. The bus road like a roller coaster, steep inclines, sudden drops. All the other patrons were used to the ride, while I hung on to the pole for dear life. The bus driver, seeing my struggle, talked to me the whole time. In the end we decided to meet up at this ravine on the outskirts of town, the last stop on his route, at the end of his shift.

I get off in Harlem, shop, sight-see, eat. Walk around a park in East Harlem, one with sculptures, named after a write. So I sit on the bench and write. Suddenly day is night and I find myself starring into an empty lot, arms folded looking down into the grassy field at the bottom of this crater like knoll in the middle of the parking lot.

Headlights passing on the distant lone road to get to this spot, until there’s nothing—a silent hush as I continue to look upon the football field sized plain before me. Lights behind me, I think it’s the bus driver for our late-night rendezvous. Instead a man steps out of a Buick sedan and lunges for me. We tussle, him ripping at my clothes, me defending the assault. And in an instant, I’m not myself; I’m Zoe Saldana, her fighter character from Columbiana, strong in the struggle.

A few right hooks, elbow connecting to jaw, a knee to his groin, and I’m up from underneath him, running; headed for the bus stop looking for the bus drive, for any bus which will take me away.

“He’s not coming! Buses don’t run this late out here, it’s just you and me.”

I wake up at the crux of continuing to fight or allowing him to win, admitting defeat.

Last night I dreamed that I was asleep lying next to my husband, our two kids tucked in bed, and two men break into the house. But it’s ok, I’ve prepared for this disaster. We spring into action; he shimmies under the bed to the passageway that leads to the kid’s room, I grab the gun from the bedside table headed for the hidden door on the right back side of the closet. I punch in the code to the crawl space, entering the safe room.

I call the police, tell them to hurry there’s a robbery in progress, get antsy when the operator wants to know our location, “yes we’re safe for now, please hurry”, recite the address, and hang up. Waiting there head down, listening for my husband and children in the sound proof room.

I hear him enter through the back ulterior staircase which opens to the crawl space: my little angel in his arm, my warrior son trailing behind with wide yes. We huddle. My son inches into my lap; I slide the gun behind me to my husband’s waiting hand. He holds our little girl in the crook of his arm. We wait. I make a small comment about fumigating the crawl space annually as spiders sprint past our feet. I grab a fleece from the duffel bag, wrap it around us, plug in the headphones for the portable DVD player, House of Mouse playing to keep little him occupied, calm.

We hear the muffled thuds of strangers rifling and ransacking our belongings. Tiny paws appear under the cloaked closet door. Oh man, Simba. And we hear the meow—low, guttural, loud. Apparently there’s a gap, the entrance hidden on an arch, a shallow gap, diminutive, but noticeable when made aware. I move my little man to his dad and creep over. My eye on the peephole allowing me to peer out but prohibiting anyone from peeking in.

I see my cat and the assailant who followed him. Head cocked to the side; apparently he knew the robbery was too easy. Seamless door, keypad too high for him to notice: he leans down, knee to the ground, questioning the cat’s persistence. I hope he thinks it’s a mouse, I know he thinks it’s a safe. He wants in.

Small puffs of breath, I glance over at my husband, his cheek flush against nanita’s head, hand on bubba’s shoulder. My eyebrows raise, his chin nods. Meaning understood. This could get ugly.

He carefully moves the little ones back to the stairway. Both have fallen prey to the Sandman’s charms, undisturbed by the events. He lays them on the stairs, gun aimed at the closet door. I move back to the wall, heat lingering from where my family once sat. I glance out the porthole in the wall, wonder where the police are. I hear the repeated clicks as my husband switches on and off the safety. A shuffling noise leaks through the breach. Fingers try to plunge their way into the sliver where wood meets carpet. Nothing gets in, aside from the ire of the other side, lusting for more of what they don’t own, what they can’t have.

I curse the cat; curse my thoughtlessness for not grabbing that bloody wretch from wherever he hides. I moon over the unchangeable possibilities and mouth apologizes to my partner. My job was the closet, the gun; his was the kids, to keep us safe if things go awry. Wringing my hands I start to worry. Laying down the gun he looks at me. Two fingers square in on his eyes motion to my eyes, hand brushes over his heart points to my heart, lips pucker as he kisses his palm and blows it my way. Our sign, no fault, all love.

I see a crow bar under the door. I move back over to the peephole. Three of them, focused on getting in. Eyes on the door, 3 fingers signal my husband. I make a sweeping motion of him closing the stairway door as the wood starts to splinter. His rapid shakes of no, my pleading glances as he lifts the gum from its slumber, arming it for battle.

Light begins to filter in to the crawl space. Multiple hands pull at the shattering boards. Involuntarily I back up, but they see me, the streaming shards not yet reaching the shadows where the rest are hiding. Even my husband is surprised. I scream to muffle the waking croak of “mommy”. He reaches down to muzzle the sound. My leg extends out and shuts the back door, while he’s distracted, foreign hands reach out to grab me. Evil looks on masked faces. Body dragged forward, carpet burns through pajama bottoms. Thrust into the enemy’s arms, the unknown.

I wake up.

And people wonder why I’m so tired in the morning. Each night I fight for my life.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. grandmaspages
    Oct 25, 2012 @ 23:48:56

    Hi baby girl-girl… took your advice… read me at grandmaspages… this is an excerpt from the newest book – EARTH TALES… hope you like…


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