When Beloved’s out of town, our schedules don’t change much. I don’t cook as much or as elaborately. The Young One needs a little more prodding to do his chores. I work longer hours. The dog whines for attention a little bit more. The house is quieter. But, for the most part, things ramble on as usual.
Except at night.
I’ll be the first person to admit that I have trouble sleeping when Beloved’s not home. I have trouble settling down and have trouble staying asleep; I also tend to get up earlier in the mornings. Beloved calls it “empty bed syndrome” and claims he suffers from it on the nights insomnia (and his snoring) send me to the sofa in the living room. And it could very well be what it is…at least partly.
It also could be that I’m afraid of the dark.
I know it’s silly; I know it’s irrational. Especially when you consider that whatever monster under my bed would probably eat me whether I was alone in my bedroom or not. But the dark doesn’t bother me when Beloved is home, even on the rare occasion I go to bed before him. I just have an overactive imagination – possibilities have always intrigued me, often far more than reality does. And my imagination tells me that my husband will keep all the icky monsters away.
Either that, or the man just doesn’t give me enough time to worry about whatever might be living under our bed.
I don’t think much about my fear of the dark until I find myself alone in it; then it kicks into overdrive and every scary movie I’ve seen and scary book I’ve ever read begins traipsing its way through my brain. It’s times like that when I wish I’d never watched movies like The Ring. ‘Cause that little girl crawling out of the television at the end of the film?
She is out to get me.
I don’t think Beloved was aware of my fear of the dark until recently when I mentioned that I make sure the closet door is firmly closed and the bathroom light is left on at night when he’s out of town. I mentioned this with some trepidation, because the man is RABID about lights left on all night, but he was more amused than anything.
“Really??” he asked. His imagination is somewhat different from mine – he’s perfectly fine with the possibility of cosmic strings and magnetic monopoles, but pubescent young women chucking film directors out of windows and down long flights of stairs? Pshaw, he says. I, on the other hand, was tempted to cancel my account with Verizon after reading Stephen King’s Cell.
Ah, well. I’ve lived 46 years without being eaten by a monster, or even threatened by one, and I’m sure I never will be.
Let’s just keep that bathroom light on and ignore the smell of garlic, shall we?