Funny how memories are set off. I was reading a book and a inconsequential conversation between two boys about the ‘ghost in the press’ caught the attention of long forgotten memories. At the first mention of the ‘press’, my mind went to printing, until logic suggested that, as they were in their bedroom, a clothes press was more appropriate.
What child doesn’t fantasise about monsters under the bed? I made a point of never having a foot or a hand over the edge of the bed just in case. I mean, you never know, right? I went through a phase of “if I can’t see them, they can’t see me” too, which started a lifelong habit of needing to be covered right up to my eyeballs. I still like to be completely covered – still afraid of the bogey-man? Perhaps, though I suspect the bogey-man has morphed into its adult form of a variety of nameless, faceless fears, but… it was the wardrobe that did it.
Many was the night I’d lie in bed staring at my dark-wood wardrobe, almost seeing it open and the skeleton hiding inside coming out to get me. It wasn’t always a skeleton. Some fears were far worse, some more insubstantial. Either way, the wardrobe was a horrifying element in the half-dark of my room.
Today, I wonder if the ‘skeletons in the cupboard’ talk of the adults around me weren’t at least partly to blame. The cupboard grew in my very vivid imagination to hold all manner of ills. I suspect there’s a little part of me… ok, perhaps not such a little part… that’s still somewhat afraid of what could come out of the wardrobe as soon as I let my guard down. I have no wardrobe in my current bedroom and the one I photographed is perfectly harmless… this wardrobe is in my mind – a dark, closed receptacle of nameless, faceless things that may or may not exist. Is it just me?
Naturally, if you had to ask me what I fear, I’d put my hands behind my back, lift my head and that same little girl will confidently say, “Nothing!”