The Monsters Beneath My Bed

The light’s on. It tells my mind it’s still daytime. It makes me think I’m supposed to be awake. I lie down and see the street lights shining in bars through my window blinds. I see the rise and fall of my laptop’s power light pulsing.

By now my light’s off. By now it’s other things on my mind than bright lights and daydreams. Something’s running through my veins like adrenalin, call it what you will. There’s longing, and worry, and fantasy…

The longing’s lonely. It’s personal, pathetic. Passive daydreaming. I’m certain, through my own convincing, that I’m not the only one to wonder past nightfall when my prince will come, or if the one who just walked past maybe forgot to take his second glance back…. It’s tiring, to think too much about it. I’d rather sleep.

Then the worry sets in. My psych teacher summed it up succinctly: Question marks make you worry. Ask yourself a stream of questions for a minute and you’re sure to feel your temperature rising and sweat on your brow.

I worry about a lot of things. It’s a childhood vice I’ve never gotten past; I’ve postponed my worrisome syndrome till nightfall, and then it comes all at once. Those unanswered questions, unanswered prayers… They come to me. Spectres in white with blue skin and black eyes. I’ve seen them sometimes, right before sleep takes me. I call them my muses. I call them my demons. They’re asking for a story. They’ll get one someday.

If I could sum up my worries, then I could guard myself against them. Unfortunately, that soon to sleep, it’s hard to recall come morning…. I’d probably not bother with them even if I could. Some things are best left for nightmares. Some things are best left for good.

Maybe I’m already asleep when the fantasies come. Maybe they’re what gets me there in the first place. These are the thoughts I’d love to wake to, the satiation of such worries and fears, the fulfillment of the evening’s earlier longings…. Fantasy’s my nature. Fantasy’s my nurture. Give me swords and sorcery. Give me a shield to stand against and a spell to cast. I’ll take it all and fight back. I’ll rise against my evils and vanquish the shadows that blight me. I’ll rise for my family and friends and lead them to a greater country wherein all their prayers are answered and all the viles of this world are absent and unmade.

But by then I’m already dreaming.

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