From the Email

A friend sent me this in an email the other day, they said they didn’t expect anyone to believe it or be able to help but they just wanted to tell someone, I wrote something about how Audre hijacks the blog now and again for her Halloween stories, did they want to enter? That was a week ago and I haven’t heard back from them. I don’t know what to think. Any ideas? Neo

There is a growing dis-ease in my mind. I think better when I type as I can watch the words appear and determine if they are the right words. I feel I have to choose my words carefully or whoever reads this won’t understand what’s going on. Not that I understand it, either.

Of late I have noticed some things I can’t reconcile. The need to look behind me. The quickest of glimpses of something besides myself when I walk past a mirror. The need to listen closely to something just under that which can be heard. It’s unsettling. I’ve ignored it for days until I can’t ignore it anymore. There’s something going on – is it inside me or something external – and for my sanity I have to determine what it is.

At first, I thought it was simply a case of jangling nerves. This year of 2020 has been fraught with things we never could have expected. I suspected what I needed was ‘enforced isolation’ – from all news related things. I took a couple of days just watching the occasional ‘puppy’ video or how to build a barn video or trail cameras showing how nature goes about her business. But even then, even relaxed and comfortable, that feeling would creep on me and I’d have to take a quick look behind me. The trail camera videos were especially off-putting; just under the sound of the breeze and rustling leaves and snapping twigs – was there talking? Could I hear talking? These were late night, night sight videos. It’s not hard to imagine, I guess, that there would be some people around even in the ‘o dark thirties’. The thing is, the talking didn’t really seem to be part of the videos. It seemed more like something ‘outside’ the videos. I stopped watching those altogether.

Another thing I’ve noticed is there seems to be more odd sounds about the house. This is an old house. Like all old houses, it creaks and cracks and pops but for the last few days, the sounds seem to be closer to the room I’m in than elsewhere about the house. How can that be possible? The sun in its travels touches all sides of the house throughout the day, as does wind and rain. Why have the sounds seemed to concentrate just outside the door of the room I’m in? I find myself checking the hallway just outside this room. I don’t know what I’m checking for and fear finding something that does require checking. From where I’m sitting, I have only to slide my eyes to the right to see the hallway. I am finding I do it quite a bit now.

To distract myself, I force ‘normal behavior’. Get up, go in the kitchen and cook, or clean up the kitchen, or empty the dishwasher but that ‘look behind you’ sensation comes over me and I feel I am only safe in my room. The bathroom is a door off the hallway. I find that I determine just how badly I have to ‘go’ before actually going there.

This room has three windows; bright sunshine or cloudy skies and rain are fun to watch. There’s a cat that has taken up a sleeping spot on the deck. He shows up after a night of tom catting and then sleeps blissfully in the sun-shaded shadow of the overhanging eaves. In the afternoon, the occasional chubby raccoon will waddle across the deck and the squirrels use the top of the fence to avail themselves of a scrub pine in the yard behind mine. It’s really quite delightful. Until night time.

At night, the windows become something like big black eyes, looking in at me. It got so uncomfortable that I now close the curtains on the windows at night. Oddly enough, that’s even worse. What’s behind the curtains that I can’t see? I both want to know and dread to know.

Now I wonder what I’ll do when the sounds and the shapes enter this room. What will I do when I can distinctly tell it’s no longer just the hallway but actually part of this room? I have a sort of amorphous thought that were I to spend as much time in any other room of the house, it would become like what I’m experiencing here. That would break my mind. I can’t do it and find out if I’m right. This room is manageable. It has no dark corners as long as the very strong light bulb I installed is lit. It does have a closet with a door that will not close tightly. The normal flow of air and air conditioning will make the door move slightly, close and open, close, and open. But I don’t think the thing I fear and can’t define is in the closet. It’s just part of what I fear. A small part.

I thought putting this down in words on paper would help distill my dis-ease and make me laugh at myself. That’s what I thought. That’s what I hoped. That’s what I prayed for. But it hasn’t helped in that way at all. What it’s done is focused on something I’ve tried very hard not to focus on.

What if the thing I fear – is me? What if something is happening to me, giving me signs of something changing within myself? What if – did you hear that? I know you can’t have but did you hear it? It was a very loud crack sound just in the doorway to the hall. It was so loud I jumped. This is bad. This is very bad. Now, what do I do? Did typing these words bring it inside the room? Oh, my God – what if it’s in here with me? I want my head to spin 360 degrees so I can see the whole room at once. My heart is pounding. My pulse is visible in my wrist. I’m suddenly sick to my stomach and my bowels have gone loose.

Oh my God. It is! It’s in the room with me now. It’s  


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