Yeah, I know, that might sound strange; what child would want such a thing? Well, there was a night, long ago, when I’d have given anything to have a killer clown in my bedroom.
It was many years ago, back when things were still good at home or, at least, I thought so. One night, very late at night, sleeping in my bed, I woke up. My room had two twin beds. When I was younger, I’d slept in the far one, and my brother Daniel slept in the one near the door. As he got older, he moved across the hall to his own room, and I moved up to the “main” bed. The other became the spare, the one my friends would sleep in when I had a sleepover. This night, it was empty. At least, it had been empty when I fell asleep. When I woke, the room bathed in darkness; the only light was the soft haze drifting in through the open door from the hall night light.
There was someone in the bed, and I knew it definitely was not Goldilocks!
I strained to see the person’s face, to try to figure out who it was. In the partial light, I couldn’t make out any of their features. Then there was the fact that I was a young boy, which meant I had a very vivid and active imagination. I started to see all kinds of things that weren’t there: strange colorful eyes, an evil grinning mouth, and on and on. Naturally, I did what any little boy faced with impeding death would do. I ran for my mom and dad! Our house wasn’t very big, so it was a short race down the hall to their bedroom. I didn’t bother knocking, not with Death literally nipping at my heels. Opening the door, I stepped in, and froze.
My mom wasn’t in the bed.
The clown had already gotten her. Well, there was no way I was standing for that. The threat of a horrific death was one thing, but messing with my mom was quite the other. That clown and I were going to duke it out, and he was going to pay for what he’d done. I headed back to my room and marched right around my bed so that I was standing next to the other one. By now, my eyes had adjusted to the dim light and I could finally see just who was sleeping in the bed.
It was my mom.
I plopped down on my bed. Why was she sleeping there? Why would she not be sleeping with my dad? At that age, I still didn’t have a clear understanding as to what mommies and daddies did in bed, but I knew they supposedly slept in the same bed.
Something was wrong.
I crawled back into bed and pulled the sheets over my head. I didn’t understand what was going on, but a pain in the pit of my stomach told me I didn’t want to know! The next morning, before I woke up, my mom went back to her bed. She even made the bed, to try to hide the fact that she’d been there.
That was the start of the fighting and the squabbling, the “Dark Days” that ended with their divorce. Oh yeah, I really truly wish with all my heart and soul that it had been a killer clown in my bedroom
Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.
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