Thursday, September 3, 2009

September 3, 2009 My Journey

OK, so this isn’t quite on the expository topics, but this is just where my brain went. Sorry.

The first step is always the hardest. I clamp my palm around the cold brass of the doorknob, its five friends closing in closely behind, offering both physical and moral support. Their grip manages to squeeze tight, if only just for a moment, turning the handle just enough to release the mechanism that holds in place the barrier between my safe, cozy world, and whatever it is that is out there. The slab of wood, shaped and placed by the hands of my grandfather, falls to the side, and I look out into darkness. I step out into the corridor, pressing my prepubescent butt cheeks against the back wall. Cue the hall scene from The Shining. Which one? Who cares, they’re all fucking scary as hell-riding the big wheel, the Alice in Wonderland twins, and of course that elevator full of blood. Cue them all-at once.

The first step is always the hardest. The real first step. The one where your sole notices the subtle, yet distinct difference between the warm carpet that kept you safe in your room and the warm carpet that may ultimately betray you to the hall monsters. Wall to wall Judas. Cue the stereotypical shot where our antagonist perches on the starting line of a lane of hot coals, ready to take a quick, yet transformative journey, if only she can gather enough courage.

If not for the small, beige nightlight sticking out of the wood paneling, beaming eerie orange echoes of light out toward my nemesis, these second, third, fourth steps would not be happening. If not for this 79 cent beacon, I would never have made it from under the covers in the first place. One step follows the other in such a rapid fashion that even the quickest of sneezes would make one miss witnessing the entire, frightening escapade. Cue the scene of our hero, racing across a failing, wooden bridge, over a river of jaw-snapping crocodiles.

I made it to the end of the hall, and with the skill and grace unbeknownst to our viewers thus far, I slide into my final destination. I shut the door behind me, careful to not let any light out. Old people need their sleep. I find relief here, in so many more ways than one. But now it’s time to do it all over again. I step back into the hallway, my eyes completely shocked by the dramatic shift from bright to dark. Cue the narrowing hallway set to the sound of shrill violins- this is very likely a Hitchcock device, so it fits perfectly here.

Cue the end. I’m back in bed, safe from the hall monster, and safe from the shame that would befall me the next day had I not actually made it to the toilet. This journey is not one that I will soon forget.

Lights dim.
Credits roll.


sk said...

Great! Brought back vivid memories from childhood. If you think getting to the bathroom is scary (which I certainly did), try going to the outhouse.

Very nice!

Anonymous said...

I agree with SK, except for the "from childhood" part--I STILL get nervous sometimes leaving the bed in the middle of the night! (Shiver) Loved the beginning, especially the part about the wood that grandfather built falling to the side. The symbolism in that actually haunted me more than any of the other images. Nice job!

Dawson (Clawson) said...

when i was a kid, my dad had a big picture of a lion in our hallway (he is a leo). on nights when i couldnt get to sleep, i was thinking less of the bogeyman and more of a lion roaming the house waiting to eat me. this brought all that back.

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