Thursday, August 21, 2008


When I was a little girl, I was afraid of the monsters under my bed that were going to reach out and grab my legs before I could jump into bed after turning the lights off. I was afraid to walk out into the hallway to use the bathroom because I always imagined ghosts at the other end. I also thought that the scratch scratch scratching at the window was Big Foot.

I watched way too much TV.

Eventually, those monsters started to fade in comparison to the real monsters that were on TV later in the evenings. The monsters in Iran that had captured fifty-two American civilians and held them hostage for 444 days. The monsters in South Africa taking away their people's rights because of the color of their skin. The monsters in Russia that were threatening us with their nukes.

I watched way too much Nightline when I was a kid.

This week, we had some real live monsters in our neighborhood. One guy was an actor who played a part in the 40 Year Old Virgin. He ran into his girlfriend at the gym just over the hill. Apparently, they chatted for a while before she left to come back home. She was making dinner for her new boyfriend when the actor showed up at her door. He stabbed her twenty times. All evening, we heard sirens going down the street and a helicopter that whisked her away. She lived. But I'm sure those monsters will haunt her for a long time. Another monster is a guy that looks just like everybody else. The only things that set him apart are his love of white shoes with white knee high sport socks and his black backpack. He has threatened many of our neighbors while we are out on our beloved trails. Some neighbors have cautiously followed him in order to give his location to the operators on the phone, but the police can never seem to get here in time. He may be harmless, but he has us all on alert... and scared... and nervous about going out on the trails.

Monsters can just be in our heads. But they can also be very real. Some monsters just need to threaten us to feel empowered. Others will rage and cause harm because of jealousy. And other monsters that seemed to have gone away for a while are all back in the news... threatening us again...

There's this little thing called Election '08 coming up. The only thing I want to know from any of them, national, state, or local is: "How are you going to keep me safe from the monsters?" Because, essentially, that is the basic role of government. Not to legislate what I do with my hands. Not to legislate who I bow to. Not to legislate how I should think and who I should marry and where I should send my kids to school. All they really have to do is keep me and my friends and my neighbors and loved ones safe from monsters.

Is that too much to ask?

So while they are droning on and on about taxes and pumping their fists about change, I hope they have a clear view of the monsters in the world that threaten us here and abroad. I hope they have a good idea on how it is that they are going to keep us safe. Because I want to enjoy Saturday Night Concerts in the Park and dinner with my husband and hiking on my trails...

And I don't want to be afraid of the monsters anymore.


Last Saturday Night, Atomic Groove playing at the park for all the funky families

Last night at dinner with The Pilot

This morning...


Ann said...

Scary isn't it? Someone tried to break in our house just last week. Luckily, we have an alarm - and when they got our window open and stuck their head in, heard the alarm - they took off - taking NOTHING.

As I sped home from work after getting the call, I wasn't afraid for any missing stuff. I only fear someone taking our little dogs. They were safe. We were SO lucky.

I think it all comes down to desperate people. What can we do in this world to stop all these people from becoming so horribly desperate that they then turn into monsters? I heard about that actor and wondered - holy hell - what happened to that man's mind to bring him to that point? And, are ALL of us capable of that tipping point? Some of us?

Just so scary. Makes me feel so vulnerable. Yet, I'm still rarely fearful.

smiles4u said...

Wow! What a great post! We are surrounded by these "monsters" that walk among us...they look just like us and they can act like us...some of these monsters have prominant positions in our communities and even our churches and schools. I think what is so scarey is the fact that we can't tell them apart from anyone else.

My daughter still lives in fear today because of the monster that came into her life. She has a male roommate because she feels safer and she has a hard time sleeping at night when she is alone. Every guys she meets is a potential monster in her mind. The bruises on her body, her neck and face have faded away but those that cover her heart have not. I think part of the reason she chose to live back home for a year and a half was her fear of the monsters.

She keeps trying to run from it...from the monsters and the thing is she isn't going to heal until she stops running.

Thank you so much for your understanding and kind words to my blog post today. In every way it says you "get it" and that means a lot to me right now. Not everyone gets it.

What beautiful pictures of you and the pilot and with the kids. The more I read your blog and comments on my blog, I realize that you are not only beautiful on the outside but even more so on the inside.

Daphne said...

I had the same monster grabbing my feet under the bed thing. Where do we get this from? And then I graduated to worrying about the SLA and the Manson family. The terrible killings of that mom and two daughters back East where the two ex cons broke into the house is my big haunt now.

Naomi said...

A close friend of mine is a corrections officer at a jail for sex offenders. She's told me so many horrific stories of men that have subsequently maxed out of jail and are on the street as we speak.

I used to live w/ no fear. I did what I wanted...I could take care of myself. But now, being a mother, I live in a constant state of fear for my daughter.

I've learned that the problem with these monsters is that they seemingly have more people lobbying for their rights than their are people fighting for the rights of law abiding citizens. And since politicians cater to these lobbyists, we're all basically screwed.

I'm all for the death penalty. Stick it on pay per view and raffle of tickets for who gets to pull the switch. We'd all get our taxes reduced with the amount of money that would pull in.

Done with my rant. I get worked up over this topic. btw, beautifully written post chickadee.

D'Arcy said...

Wow, I don't know what to say. This post about monsters...and then ending it with your most beautiful family....this blog took me on a lot of feelings as I read it. I went from, oh yeah I used to have a witch under my bed, to==oh no, I am home a lone and have already had two weird guys knock on my door tonight so I better not read all of that--to, so that's what Shoog and her pilot look like most beautiful family ever.

I'll carry the last thought with me to bed tonight.

Rowena said...

I feel like the form of the scariest monsters keep changing, but their nature stays the same.

In essence, it's about us feeling small and vulnerable, it's about not knowing, it's about the fears of what could be. The monster under the bed, the shadow on the wall, the scary story, the evening news, that guy down the street who couldn't be... could he?

But then maybe there is monster in all of us. Maybe that's what it is that we are afraid of? What could I do if I did not try to be good? What could I do to myself, to my loved ones? Maybe I am the bad guy?

And maybe sometimes it's good to have monsters, a dragon to fight. The presence of monsters means we protect ourselves. Means we climb mountains to find safety. Maybe sometimes it means we work to make things better for everyone so there are less monsters around.

My 3 year old is obsessed with monsters. I think he is figuring out the nature of good and evil, and sometimes he identifies with the monsters. Is it his anger? His inability to follow the rules? The fun of the power they often hold?

Sugar said...

Yes, monsters are scary... My heart was on this subject for several days with the stabbing and the Russian incursion in Georgia and when Iran announced that it had launched a dummy missile. But I was also wanting to talk about the dream stealers. The people whose hurts are inflicted on others because of pain or jealousy. I had a few of those monsters to deal with these past weeks, too. I guess I just wanted to get out what I got out. Because, when I boil everything down to it's basic essence, being with the ones that I love and enjoying life is all I care about. Is that selfish? Yeah... but that's kind of a big deal for me...

Marfa-Everyday Stuff With Marfa said...

I think I know just what you mean. When I hear candidates attacking each other, or talking non-sense about change but don't really explain what the change is all about, all I can say is: What are you planning to do for ME? How are you going to make MY life better? I don't care if you support abortion or not, I don't care if that candidate's child is homosexual or if the other candidate's child is pregnant or if you're white, black, yellow, green or red. I really don't care about any of it. I only want to know how they're going to take care of me. How are they going to stop the monsters from hurting me. Of course, when I say me, I'm really not just talking about myself, but as the country as a whole. I hope they're getting the message.