In response to the Daily Post’s prompt “Closet”
When I was a kid I was afraid of my closet. The same way I was afraid to go to sleep with my door closed or the hallway light off.
In fact, when it came to sleeping, there were a lot of things I was afraid of.
I remember once in elementary school, we were having a Read-In. You know, one of those Midwest things where kids brought their sleeping bags to school and we would basically spend the entire day inside them while the teacher read us stories.
One of the stories that our teacher read to us was about a young girl whose bedroom window faced the cemetery outside. As I recall, as the girl slept, a demon or a ghost of some kind climbed in through her window. I don’t remember how the story ended exactly but I remember being terrified. So much so, that I still remember the story some 15 years later. (This also gave me a fear of cemeteries for a while)
So I was afraid of my windows. I would refuse to have my bed near the window for fear of something coming in through it to get me. I was afraid of my closet and would make sure that it was closed before I climbed into bed. I was afraid of sleeping with my door closed or with the hallway light off. It made me feel better to know that my parents were up and that they were the source of the soft noises as I feel asleep. I wanted to be able to see them going about their evenings. Knowing that with them there, I was safe.
Now, I can’t sleep with my door open. I have to have all the lights off, including the hallway or kitchen light to even entertain the idea of sleep. The closet can be open. In fact, it’s always open. I don’t even think I’ve shut it once.
I still have a slight issue with the window though. However, being on the 5th floor of my apartment building, it doesn’t seem to matter as much. But when I go back home to visit my parents, I sometimes think about unsavory possibilities that lurk outside the window of our ranch style home.
When I was a kid, I was afraid of a lot of things. Things that would seep into my dreams or prevent sleep altogether. I’d like to say that I’m no longer afraid. But I guess I’m just afraid of different things now. But maybe that’s okay.
Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light. I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.