Sunday, October 25, 2009

All About MEme: Tales from My Darkside





So I am a scaredy cat.  That's such a ridiculous understatement!  I am afraid of just about everything.  I have a huge list of Darkside Tales from my childhood, - enough to fill a novel at least. But I've decided to share with you a story from my adult years ... one of many.

My husband was a pilot for 8 years, which presented the opportunity for me to spend a lot of nights on my own - while he flew to cities and hotels all over the east coast.  I hate sleeping in an empty house.  A house without another living soul in it.  A house in which I am alone to face all the scariness.   I have the hardest time settling down.  My heart races.  My imagination works overtime and invents all kinds of crazy scenarios.  I hear - single - every noise.  And imagine it into something much larger and ominous and awful and likely to kill me ...

It's a wonder I was able to function for those 8 years.  The sleep deprivation was not only self-imposed and widespread.  But, boy, did I sleep well on the nights that he was home!

I tried all kinds of things to ease my nerves and get a good night's sleep.  I slept with the TV on to drown out all those noises.  I left lights on.  I slept with a large butcher knife between the mattress and box springs of my bed. (Supah still gives me crap about that one.)  And once I envisioned that knife being used on me - by my attacker - the knife went back to the kitchen.

I had an escape plan that involved always keeping pepper spray, my glasses and my car keys on the mattress next to me.  The plan was to flee ... I had not intentions of sticking around to see how the imagined scenarios played out.  I am not the chick that goes to investigate.  I'm the chick the runs the other way.  In fact, I had a few friends - like Mel from NightLight Stories - who I'd call in the middle of the night - when I worked myself into a terrified near -panic-attack - and ask if I could come sleep at their house.

Yes, I coped.  It wasn't pretty, but I managed.

Well, this story actually takes place in the early morning - after a good night's sleep.  It was still pitch black outside.  My husband and I were both up getting ready for work.  He was ready before me, and I was drying my hair when he kissed me good-bye and headed out the door.

Within a few minutes I thought I heard a noise - but with the dryer running it was hard to tell.  But it was one of those times when your senses prick up - like a warning - and your heart races, and I just couldn't shake the feeling that something wasn't right.  I told stone-still clutching the now quiet dryer.  Straining to hear that sound again  - above the thumping of my own heart - in the hopes that I would be able to easily identify it and calm down.  Didn't hear it again.  But it seemed too quiet, and I couldn't pull myself together.

I summoned every ounce of bravery I could muster and stepped out into the hallway.  And there it was.  That awful feeling was right.  The front door wasn't latched.  It wasn't wide open, but it was cracked.  Immediately I conjured up visions of someone in the apartment.  I did a quick look around, behind open doors, and around corners.  My eyes locked on the coat closet - near the front door, and I felt a certainty and a strong fear.  My mouth was so dry.  Every sense heightened and stretched.  In an unprecedented show of boldness, I put my hand on the knob ... it felt stuck, and I immediately decided that someone was holding the knob from inside the closet.
 
I bolted for the front door.  No keys.  No plan.  Just panic and a strong need to get the hell out of there.  It was 6:00 am.  There I was standing at the top of the stairs of the second floor of the apartment building.  With an intruder hiding in the closet just inside.

What could I do?  I ran down the stairs like a lunatic and started pounding on the door of the girl living below us.  Pounding again and again and again.  Eventually my disgrunted, bed-rumbled, hair-mussed, half-asleep neighbor answered her door.  I recounted the whole story.  She stared back at me wide awake and wide eyed.  Thankfully, she had a plan.

Did she suggest calling 911?  Or a beefy bouncer-sized boyfriend?
Did she grab an extra large can of mace or a tasor?

Ummmmm ... no, no, and no.

We were standing in her kitchen, so her first was to grab a knife.  Feeling somewhat clear-headed, I explained my theory behind knives and struggles with intruders and likeliness of being stabbed yourself.  The knife was instantly tossed aside, and we each grabbed a utensil from the crock on her counter.  She was armed with a spatula.  I choose a ladle.
 
Not another word was exchanged as we made our way up the stairs and through my front door.  An exaggerated nod toward the closet door and we fanned out to either side.  She raised her spatula, and I mimicked her movement.  I grasped the knob, gave it a quick twist, and threw open the door.


Coats.  A bag of golf clubs.  A few pairs of shoes.

No intruder.  No boogeyman.  No figment of my imagination.

My trusty sidekick and I snapped out of our adrenaline-induced trance and started laughing so hard - I am sure at least one of us peed our pants!

The sense of relief was tangible.  The embarrassment and hilarity of waking up my neighbor to help me pummel - with kitchen utensils - a non-existent intruder ... that's just priceless!

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Now it's your turn to play along ... my favorite part of all this mayhem!
  • Put together a post that remotely resembles an answer to the prompt.
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13 comments:

BJ_Mama said...

OMG! You are too funny. I'll remember if we ever do meet IRL...never to sneak up on you, I am deathly afraid of ladles.

Evonne said...

LOL!!! If it helps at all, my friend likes to park as far from the movie theater as possible. We saw a scary movie one night and thought it was a good idea to bring plastic silverware with us in case anyone was hiding in the car to get us when we returned.

The World As I See It said...

LOL That would be something that I would do. I totally get the fear and yet I also get the whole laughing at the end lol

Miss Mel said...

You are so funny! That is by far one of my most favorite memories of us! I got a lot of report card writing while waiting for you too :) Go Alpha Smart!

Oliver'sMom said...

Ok, now that was FUNNY! I can so totally relate with the whole "imagination running away with you" thing! I think Oliver might have inheireted the skill as well...Last night before bed: "Oh no Mama, scaaaared" "What's scarey baby?" "Elmo flying air-pane, sky, crash" "What? Did Elmo fly in an airplane today?" "NO MAMA! Elmo fly air-pane CRASH!!! BOOOOM!!" "Um, Ok, ni-night dear." "Ni-night mama, fweet deems!"
PS-good luck today, I am hoping for good news for you and BV 2.0

Heather said...

I HATE being alone at night. I am scared to death.

Emmett Joseph said...

Too funny! That reminds me of the time we were housesitting for my sister, and thought someone was breaking in...only to find out it was the VCR tape rewinding...remember that? :)

My Baby Sweetness said...

Awesome! Totally sounds like something I would do.

Shell said...

Too funny!

kys said...

Funny! Bock bock! I'm a big chicken, too.

Deann said...

LOL! I love that you used a ladle! Remind me and I'll have to tell you the story about my my, a thief, a 2X4, and brick :-)

SupahMommy said...

I LAUGHED OUT LOUD.. a the knives vs intruder debate.

and the ladle.. what IN THE HELLO were you going to do with it?? DROP IT AND RUN.
lmao


you are too cute miss dv.
and u r such a great writer too..

i was holding my breath with you when the hair dryer was quiet.

xoxo
hey GUESS WHAT MY WORD VERIFCATION IS

WORYING!!!!

Epiphius said...

Sounds like something I would do. Minus the ladel. I'm more of a can opener kind of girl. :)

And I too have an escape plan from every room in my house. It would hurt, but I could get me and my kids out.

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