Saturday, April 21, 2007

What I really mean: I wish you were here.

Despite being a 30-year old man, silly little things really freak me out sometimes. Like David Cronenberg's film The Brood, about a genetically engineered breed of mutant, murderous little kids who hide in people's kitchen cabinets and jump out and attack them when they least expect it. After watching that movie, everytime I came home from anywhere, I had to check all of my cabinets and closets, usually with my boyfriend on the phone with me, just in case I were to be attacked. I'm not sure what he could have done through the telephone, but at least someone would know. He was patient with me, despite sighing and saying, "Ryan, you're almost a thirty-year-old man." This went on for about a week.

When I was a little kid, one random day my pet dog decided to stand at the threshold of the bathroom, stare up at the light fixture and bark and growl incessantly at it. But if you tried to coax him into the bathroom (or worse, push him in there), he would freak out and run away, only to return some time later and resume his barking without ever actually going into the bathroom. This lasted about 3 days, and my entire family was, of course, convinced that we were being visited by some kind of poltergeist or ghost. As a child it both enthralled and terrified me, and despite not having any real feelings one way or another on God, ever since then I have been a firm believer in the supernatural. You know, they say animals can sense this stuff, and they know, and they do their best to protect you (like bark and growl at the bathroom, and try to warn you not to go in there). I don't know what an evil spirit would have wanted in our home, and why they wouldn't bother to wreack (sp?) anymore havoc than tormenting our dog, but there you go. I'm convinced it was real.

I hadn't thought about this in a long time, until last night. It was my seventh night of house-sitting for Kurt and Meredith, and thus far, I've been surprisingly comfortable in their home, and not at all freaked out by stuff at night. It helps having a hyper, noisy dog around to keep the bad guys away.

Or, to completely freak you out and convince you there's a ghost in the doorway of the bedroom.

I got home late from work last night (around 11) and did my usual nightly activities (showering, pouring some wine, and settling in to a big comfy chair to read a bit before bed), leaving Ruby (the dog) outside a bit longer before corralling her in for the evening.

When she came in, she immediately crawled up into her sleeping chair and laid her head down, but a moment later, suddenly jerked it up and began staring in the direction of the bathroom/bedroom. It was such a sudden movement that I noticed her doing it, so I watched her. She stared. She perked up her ears, without for a moment moving her eyes. I called her name, but she just glanced my way, then turned immediately back towards the bathroom/bedroom.

She had a chew toy between her paws so I picked it up and threw it in the direction of the bedroom/bathroom to see if she would go get it (as she always, always, always does). She didn't.

Chills went over my entire body.

Finally, after a moment, she slowly got out of the chair, meandered over to where the toy lay, hesitated a moment, then picked it up and trotted back over to me.

I tossed it again, and this time she went to get it, but about two feet in front of it, stopped and continued to stare at the bedroom door.

She slowly walked towards it, picked it up, and walked back over to me.

I swear to God, she turned around, actually turned her head, to look back at the door.

I wasn't interested in performing any more experiments, and watched her behavior as she left the toy, crawled back up in her chair, laid down her head and went to sleep.

I read for a few more minutes to observe her behavior and try to take my mind off the fact that I might be attacked in the night by some unholy apparition lurking in the bedroom.

But eventually my fatigue got the best of me, and I braved my way to the bedroom, where I immediately regressed to childhood by covering my whole body, including my head, with the blankets. So, you know, the ghosts wouldn't find me.

I guess they decided to leave me alone, as I'm still here this morning, and Ruby is back to being her loud, rowdy self. But I haven't been that freaked out in a long time. It was the kind of freaked out where the hair stands up on your neck and your breathing gets shallow. I have chills now just writing it.

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