Monday, October 20, 2008

I'm Not Normal

Last night I realized something: I am not normal.

Or at least, I don't think I am. Maybe you can tell me?

Let me explain:

Since childhood, I have been plagued by an irrational fear of situations that really only happen in horror films. This fear is set on a circadian cycle, resuming every night around around 11:30 or so. It used to start at sundown, but now I have a husband who's mere presence wards off these strange happenings. That is, until he falls asleep. At around 11:30.

Thinking back, I can blame a common origin for most of these fears: The movies It, Nightmare on Elm Street, Psycho, Child's Play, Poltergeist, and The Exorcist. I think these movies have influenced me more than any single bit of media I've ever been exposed to. My nightly rituals are so rigidly structured due to these movies. Let me share some with you.

I have a bottle of visine in my medicine cabinet that I use almost every night. I don't have dry eyes. I don't wear contacts. I use it to soothe my eyes from the soap.

The soap?

Yes. The soap. The soap that gets in my eyes every night. From washing my face. From opening my eyes while I'm washing my face. Because I'm too afraid to hunch over a drain with my eyes closed. Because the It lives down there. And he will kill me. And then he will make my blood shoot out of someones sink. And I really don't want anyone else to have to buy endless bottles of visine. I think it's already a product that's way too heavily used. I mean, they haven't proved it but I think it might be addictive.

Moving on.

I go through towels like mad. I seriously waste so much laundry detergent on towel-washing. Because I always have to soak up the water on the floor after my showers. Because I take showers mostly without the curtain drawn. Because that way I can see Norman before he can take me by surprise. Because I'd rather know I'm getting stabbed then have to watch it as a blood-squirted shadow on the side of the shower wall.

Speaking of being snuck up on, I refuse to showcase any of my porcelain dolls in my house. They are out in boxes in the garage and that's where they will stay until I sell them on EBay. Even the collector's edition doll that my grandmother left me in her will. I don't care. These little demons will get no mercy from me.

Let me tell you a story.

My brother, who is 8 years older than me, once had a clown doll. He loved to squeeze the belly of this doll, which caused an eery, echoey laugh that haunted me in my sleep. He loved to sneak up behind me when I was alone and squeeeeeeeaaaaaze. I can't say that I blame him, for the reaction that he witnessed was the same every time: a high-pitched scream and crying.

Is this the reason for my irrational fear of dolls?

No, my friends. There is much more to this story. Quit interrupting me and I'll get to it.

So, the years went on and the clown joke kind of faded as I got older. Mind you, I was always afraid of that stupid clown, but I just had too much pride to admit it. So the day came when my brother packed the clown away in a box to give to the Salvation Army. I was so relieved. I watched the clown being placed in the box, and a weight was lifted from my chest as I realized that I never again had to hear that shrill laugh.

Several weeks later, I came home from school to a very angry brother.

"What the hell?! Why did you do that? How did you do that?"

"Do what?" I asked. I thought maybe he found out that I'd gone through his room, again, while he wasn't home. I always found the best stuff in there.

"That stupid clown! Why did you take it out of the Salvation Army box? And stick it in my closet?"

"What? I didn't! What are you talking about"

"And how did you get it to laugh again? It's been broken. That's why I was giving it away."

"No. Is it really in there?"

At this point, I followed him to his room, where, lo and behold- the clown is sitting in his closet. With that sick smirk on its face.

My brother picks it up, and it laughs.

"Huuuaaaaaaahhh. Huuuuuuaaaahhhh. Ha-ha-ha-ha..."

It sounded creepier to me than ever before.

"Yeah, it sounds broken. It's all slow sounding and creepy," I said. "But I promise, Chris, I didn't do it."

"Really? That's so weird. Well, I guess we just can't get rid of this thing."

He threw it over to me, where I reluctantly caught it, setting it off yet again. I turn it over to see if something's wrong with the electrical.

Sure enough. No batteries.

I'm not joking. No batteries.

I will never buy a doll for my children. I don't care if it pees itself or cries for its momma. I will decapitate it. I will. I will stab it with a dang knife while it's eyes blink for mercy. As far as I'm concerned, they are all Chucky's offspring.

You know what else I show no mercy for? Televisions. I have not owned a television. Ever. I have never bought one, and the only reason there is one in my house right now is because Mark just brought his in from storage. And it has never once been turned on because we don't have cable so we will only use it for dvd viewing and we don't have a dvd player so we watch movies on our computer, which I believe is entirely friendly and non-poltergeist possessed. But I'll be honest, I still don't trust the thing. I wouldn't be surprised if I came home one day to fuzzy static. And let me show you what I would do to either of them if that ever happened:

Because poltergeists can't talk through a pile of glass.

As for the movie The Exorcist, I won't speak of my fears surrounding that. Or my experience. I won't do that to you and I won't do that to me. Besides, they say fear gives it more power.

I'm going to take a quick break to read scriptures. Excuse me.

Ok. Much better.

So, to sum this post up, I guess I pretty much just realized last night that not everyone checks the front door a bazillion times before bed, as well as the closets and the laundry room. Not everyone insists on being wrapped in a cocoon by their sheets, with strict attention to the feet. Not everyone alternates between thinking it's best to just close their eyes, wait- no it's not, I should keep them open, no, because I'll never get to sleep. But how can one sleep in a time like this....?!

I digress.

Happy Halloween.


Fish Nat!on said...

so this totally made me think of exactly how i used to be, so i blogged about it

Courtney said...

i learned a valuable lesson after reading this post.

don't read it right before going to sleep.

so now i am going to go read my scriptures before i go to bed to prevent any nightmares of chucky, scary dolls, wicked clowns, or someone stabbing me in the shower.

Snubbs the White Rabbit said...

Hey, do i know you or did you find me through Fish's blog? I did the yearbook photos at, i think, It gives you instructions. It was really easy. Enjoy!

Snubbs the White Rabbit said...

PS Ok, so i just read your post. Freakin awesome. haha. My mom and i have this fake blackbird that we hide in each others stuff to try and scare the other. It goes back and forth. The clown reminded me of this.

Andrea Jolene said... I know there are two of us. I also used to shower with the curtain open cause I didn't want anyone to "Sneak up" and I also would get soap in my eyes cause I didn't like to close them in front of the mirror and then reopen them to find "something" standing behind me. I also used to "flush and run" as fast as I could because I thought the noise would hide anyone waiting for the right "noise distraction" to grab me and muffle my crys. Blow dryers also make me a little skittish.

Molly said...

Ok... YOU are not normal.

I don't think I am nearly as bad as you but I am not normal either. Have you seen Candyman... DON"T. Same idea as Blood Mary...

Anytime I find myself accidentally turning off the light before I unlock the bathroom door to get out... it freaks me out.

And besides the obvious disgust of outhouses... I am so afraid someone is down there... watching.

My TERROR of the dark is slowly getting better.

P.S. your clown/no batteries story is FREAKY.

djinn said...

OCD, baby. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I have a mild form myself. You can take seritonin reuptake inhibitors to lessen the symptoms, or you can live with them. I alternate. Keeps one one one toes. Not to mention one's ability to use the third person singular (archaic.)

djinn said...

Ahem, keeps one on ones' toes.