No, this will not be about one of my dogs. Even though the youngest has been nicknamed the destroyer of worlds.
Growing up, I had a terribly conflicted relationship with closets. As a child, I would drag my stuffed giraffe (Josie) and a blanket into my closet so I could read a book curled up next to my weird closet light and talk to the little so-small-you-could-barely-see-them spiders. The light was a naked bulb with a cage surrounding it to keep the hot surface away from flammable items. In theory it worked totally, and none of our houses ever burned down (I lived in three of them on the Air Base) so I guess it was a good idea. My parents thought I was lost for the first few times. It was my private little cave of happiness and wrapped me in a safe little hug of security; in the light at least.
At night, my parents had a strict doors open rule. My mother had to be able to hear us if we needed her or were fooling around or a werewolf broke in or something. The only doors exempt from this rule were the closets. All closets had to be closed tight and no lights left on. All night lights had to be outlet plug ins–no light peeking from underneath doors.
I was all groovy and cool with this and it would have been a lovely set up until my Mother decided I was old enough to know WHY the closets had to be closed. We were at a Festival in Hachinohe and they had set up a freak show sort of haunted house item. It was still early so it was closed, but you could see the outside paintings of the creeping horrors that await you in side. There was the tattooed man (especially spooky in a country where only gangsters were known to be tattooed), someone doing something with fire, a man with werewolf hair, and other such things. My mom turned to my dad and mentioned how happy she was that the “Island Native” was no longer included in such attractions. I asked why and started down the road of thinking-far-to-much-about-the-closets-in-my-life.
When my mother was younger, the witch doctor or savage native was a big attraction. A big RACIST attraction, and I was sort of aghast that you were supposed to be scared of a white guy in black face shaking a spear at you from behind bars. She said she was never scared of the ones who were obviously dressing up, but every once in a while there would be the calm and stoic witch doctors. They would generally look like actual Black or African American dudes and would be doing…not a lot. Sitting behind a pot with dry ice in it, staring at you while you passed on by. Perhaps chanting while playing with a shrunken head. No jumping, no sudden shock–just stoic stare while you wondered what spell they were thinking about.
HER mother did not have an open door policy, so my mother would lie in the dark, staring at the crack of the closet door. While staring, she would imagine it creeping open, and eyes made all the darker for the dark face around the whites would appear to be staring at her. She gave him a name, which I can’t remember now, but sometimes she would dream that he would beckon her into the closet or just set a head or charm on her dresser.
From that moment on, my sanctuary was home to both friendly little spiders AND a creepy witch doctor who would give me skulls (I was nothing if not a SUGGESTIBLE child). He never did anything other than that in my dreams–just drop off a skull and wander off to do witch doctory things elsewhere. After a bit I watched “Live and Let Die” with my father and my witch doctor morphed into Geoffrey Holder as Baron Samedi which actually made it less like a nightmare event and more of a “huh, he must be bored” event.
Fun side note–if you say ANYTHING about Mr. Big to me, James Bond pops into my head as a point of reference Not Sex and the City. Even though I HAVE seen that actor who played Mr. Big in Sex and the City. He has a get away in my college town and he was a total ASSHOLE to the woman who wandered over and complimented him in the coffee shop we were in. Did not ask for an autograph, just said he was gorgeous. You bought a house in a small town prick, now get you some manners!
SO! Now I am big and have my own closet rules and a husband who gets very worried when I read books in them; so I got Xanax for my security hug. The doors still have to be closed at night though.
Caring is sharing, Moms. Pass along your child hood monsters. It makes your children adorably quirky. Or insane. Depends upon how you look at it I guess.
P.S. Yes, I am aware of how horrible it is to basically be afraid there is a black guy in the closet. Old side shows were racist and terrible in ways that continue to horrify me to this day. Neither my mother or I are afraid of darker skinned people. Well, I AM afraid of one African American chick named Yvonne, but only because she called me Wednesday and kicked the crap out of me every chance she got in high school. So that really does not count, because I am afraid of her because she is a psycho bitch who just happens to have a ton more melanin than I do.
P.P.S I am not sure if this is how you DO Monster Madness, but this was my virgin blog hop. See you tomorrow!!
P.P.P.S. Apparently Linky does not associate with WordPress! Which is complete CRAP, LINKY FACT PAGE. You need to fix that. So! Click the picture; check out all the other groovy Monsters!!!