Midnight?

Midnight?

When I was younger, midnight was a hazard. A horror. So, midnight? What made midnight so frightening as a child?

Was it the tales of Bloody Mary, ghosts, and spectral beings which confounded me? Probably. I remember hearing from a kid in 4th grade that if you look into a mirror, say “Bloody Mary” three times quick, and close your eyes, you’ll reopen those eyes to see the “actual” bloody Mary in the mirror, standing behind you. That was enough to get my imagination running wild. And the worst part about the Bloody Mary story? It could only happen between midnight and two a.m. So, during the hours I had already feared from other stories. 4th grade was a rough time. The haunting tales of midnight mysteries had no positive effect on my upbringing – that’s for sure. If anything, I feel scarred more than learned.

I’m fairly gullible. My willingness to trust others – to accept their stories as factual – has not disappeared with time; in fact, I place more trust in others now than I had as a child, I think. I trust my friends deeply. I trust my family even more. And I trust myself to stay true to myself. Cliches, but with a great deal of truth in them. Or maybe not. Like I said, I’m fairly gullible.

Midnight is the symbol of my childhood insecurities. As a gullible child, who apologized for every small mistake, mishap, or harm I may have brought someone else, I was emotionally weak, and grew up in an imaginary ideal land where everyone was trustworthy and no one’s out to bring you pain and strife. Midnight is like the image of Bloody Mary. I tried to stay so far away from it years ago, but I find myself strangely attracted to the free blackness of night.

What a change of scenery the night happens to be! It promotes and stimulates the creativity I have difficulty evoking through daylight. Midnight evinces messages of freedom. Possibility. And thus, the stubbornly dreamy optimism I held years ago returns.

Maybe that’s why midnight is so bizarre to me.

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Plain

Remember the woods in our backyard?

It always scared us, then and again

When our dreamy, exploring minds

Craved fantasy and wonder.

I can’t imagine a yard without life

Breath, Wind, Sun, Space abound

Childhood creativity impossible

Without room to grow

Spaces to fill with predictions

Amass the ideas into a collective

And share with the world with a

Yell, scream, shout from the voiceless.

I loved childhood when life was

Plain

Golden

fireworks-yellow-sun-bomb-atomic-yellow

He laughed lazily in a sunbeam

Shining decently on his forehead

It made him seem golden, golden

Like the laugh he loved to release.

It was autumn and the leaves colored

His day with shades of yellow again.

He laughed at the autumn leaves

And seemed golden under them.

The lady nearby asked the man

What he was doing, laughing alone.

With sincere glee he said to her:

“Because I enjoy it here.”

She walked away, moody, disturbed,

Wondering about the golden man.

In her daydreams she saw yellow

Streaks falling like light-beams

As they struck a figure laughing,

Alone to himself under the sun.

Why was he laughing so loudly?

“Because I enjoy it here,” he said.

She sat on her porch in a chair

That rocked back and forth with

A cup of coffee in her hand, resting.

The solitude and loneliness warmed

Her soul

And she laughed, too, like the golden man did.

Childish Dreams

Yesterday I dreamed of Aquaman

It reminded me of when I was a child and

I also dreamed of Aquaman.

He’d storm out of the ocean with a pack of rabid

Dolphins, sharks, and whales

Riding gallantly toward the evils that plagued the land

And extinguished all of the previous nightmares from my consciousness,

 

I didn’t really think that I was rediscovering all of my childish dreams until

Three days ago, when it began and

I was standing in line at a Subway

And the sandwich-maker, or

“Sandwich artist” as they self-stylize,

Asked me what kind of bread I wanted.

I immediately slipped into a daydream, a memory of when someone else

Had asked me that same question in the same manner of speaking long ago.

It made me angry at the time because

I wasn’t ready to answer the question so I left,

And so I did.

The same thing happened at Stop & Shop not too long ago

When the man bagging my groceries

Asked if I wanted paper or plastic.

But, taking the initiative

He had already started bagging the eggs and milk in plastic bags

Without my consent, so I said plastic.

Because paper would take longer.

And there was someone else in line,

Someone likely not as environmentally friendly as I am.

For my unfortunate transgression

Aquaman turned against me that night.

 

Two days ago I was sitting on a wooden park bench adjacent to

The actual park but facing the opposite direction.

I thought of the traffic soaring quickly and

Dreamed of when the park bench faced the park instead

Of the traffic, and it was much more serene that way,

But they’ve locked it in place.

And so I left.

That wasn’t how it used to be.

Back then it was a much simpler time,

And it was socially acceptable to wear white

After Labor Day.

White was my favorite color.

Until they shamed it;

That was a bad day.

When I told my therapist that I regularly wear white after Labor Day,

He said I must be insane,

And that I needed to see a therapist.