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Monday, June 12, 2006

shadows on the wardrobe


There were insects lurking beneath. It was a disgusting thought and I had to open my eyes. In the darkness I could still se the vile forms of their bodies, their alien heads poking forward with antennae -one of them would turn in my direction and point those antennae towards me. I wanted to scream. That wasn't an option as I was sharing the room with my father, whose snoring I suddenly became aware of, coming from the other end of the room. This also made me aware of a faint smell of alcohol and something else I couldn't identify or describe and which I would come across only many years later. This did, actually, have the effect of making the apparition vanish in the almost complete darkness of the room. Whose idea was it that I should share the room with my father? I suppose it was inevitable that I should, given that my mother would not share the room with him and I was a bit too grown to be in my mother's bedroom. My sister did. It was a logical arrangement in the circumstance, as much as could be expected in my dysfunctional family. But also one which I found weird, didn't correspond to the family models I'd known -all of them from the television and the press, since I seldom went to my school mates' houses and knew nothing of their family life and the rest of my family seemed to be nearly as dysfunctional as mine.

Now it was pitch black, or nearly so. As I drifted again towards sleep, the amassed mist of darkness that covered everything started to take shape again. I closed my eyes tight but this only made the spectres take form more clearly and swiftly..

I had a pocket torch, a tiny little thing.... whose shape I cannot recall, or how it came to my possesion.. as far as I know there didn't exist batteries small enough for such a gadget in those days, perhaps memory deceives me -which is not unlikely, we construct our memories from the prime matter of our past, but add much to it and change and take much away. I hid under the blanket and lit the torch. I had an issue of Life Magazine. I stared at the pictures of Marilyn Monroe. She was a bit fat and rather old but there was something very attractive about her, something that made me long for things unknown. There also were some pictures of someone on a limousine, with a woman in a funny hat next to him, waving, then collapsing, in what seemed to be frames from a movie. All echoes of a distant, unreal world that has few resonances in my life, other than those ghost-like images in a magazine, useful to exorcise those other, closer, terrifying manifestations of the void awaiting.

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