Mom and I lived in an old bungalow on York Street, just a few blocks from Washington Park. It was a single-story house with a large front porch, much like the one in the picture. The window above the porch provided the rising sun passage into an otherwise dark, creepy attic.
The house was eerie, like something out of a horror flick. Looking up from the street you could sometimes see a shadowy figure peering out from the attic window.
We were not alone.
Each creaking step was a torturous reminder that a restless and gloomy night awaited. This was no stairway to heaven. Who in their right mind would ever think that a bedroom belonged in an attic?
Producers of horror movies, that’s who!
I had a wonderful mother. But mom did some cockamamie things, like sending her 4 year-old son to the center of hell when she had a party…
Alone. Darkness only abated by the shadowy taunting of dancing trees. A sliver of light pierces up the stairs from the cracked door below. My breathing is heavy. Shhh. Muscles tense. I hear…
I was not alone.
We said a prayer every night at bedtime. You know the one…
Now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.
Every child knows monsters are lurking. That the boogie man is watching. Waiting. The proof is in this prayer. One of these nights, they WILL get you!
I scream, “Mommy!” Light chases darkness. She’s there. With me. Assuring. Reassuring. No one, no thing is in the room. “See,” she says, as she calmly reveals that everything is clear. Under the bed. Nothing. The closet. Check.
She kisses me goodnight. Light leaves with her… Shadows swaying. Darkness. Alone.
I don’t know where he hid. But as I whisper, “Now I lay me…,” I know he’ll be coming. I know the boogie man is real.
The Boogie Man Is Real
As adults, we think the boogie man is just the hyped up imagination of children.
Something creeps in my bedroom, patiently waiting for eye-twitching dream-state. It pounces. Drags me into a pit, a dungeon with a thousand shrieks. I’m chained. Tortured. Beaten into submission. Keys of freedom are dangled… just out of reach.
His wicked laugh mocks my condition. The lashing persists. There’s no escape. The shrill of his voice seizes me. I’m helpless. Lifeless. Impotent.
Daylight comes. Fresh wounds on old scars. I tumble out of bed… fumble with the coffee pot… and wonder: What good is another day?
Boogie Men Have Names
Boogie men are everywhere. All with different names. “Worthless” is a vicious monster camped under my bed. His purpose is to Paralyze.
A paralyzed soul will wilt in self-pity and self-loathing. It will drown in a pool of unbelief.
“Now I lay me down to sleep…”
What’s the name of the boogie man under your bed?