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Things That Go Bump In My Head

Halloween (or as I like to refer to it, “Please don’t invite me to your party and make me dress up” Eve), is upon us. Haunted houses were never my thing. Nor were scary movies where neighborhood residents were mutilated in their dreams by a revengeful knife-fingered wielding psycho spirit. As a child, I loved getting free sweets, but not so much the dressing up part. Even in adulthood, I’m still one to default to, “Girl with doggy ears,” or “Baseball team fan with hat.” No fuss. Just give me your Smarties.

As parents around the world are preparing their children for an early evening of doorbell ringing and candy collecting, I’m curled up on my couch trying to figure out how to rig up the porch so no one rings our doorbell and makes my dogs go nuts. And the candy. How am I going to hand out candy this year?

See, that’s where my horror-filled dreams lie.

We’re still in the middle of a pandemic, after all. And with children still unvaccinated, and many adults, as well, I’m not too keen on finger-to-finger-handoffs of Snickers Bars and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I’m far more frightened of a disease being transmitted from 3-year-old Elsa or her little brother Woody, than I am a ghost or goblin eating me in the darkness.

Germs are my Freddy Krueger. Unseen invaders that can find their way into my nostrils and attack my fragile lungs. Add pills to that list, too. Something that’s supposed to fix me, but instead will bring on headache, neuralgia, gastrointestinal upset, nerve damage, blindness, rash, seizures, hallucination, double vision, rapid heartbeat, arrhythmia, numbness, tingling, delusions, constipation, diarrhea, drowsiness, insomnia, dry mouth, salivation, fever, chills, internal bleeding, malaise, hair loss, mouth sores, swelling, loss of sex drive, anemia, blood clotting problems, paralysis, infertility, mucositis, moodiness, death, and brittle or flaky nails.

Oh, and people not liking me. The fear of leaving a conversation and having the people left behind talking about me behind my back. “Good GOD I never thought she’d leave! Could she be more irritating?!?”

Losing my job and health insurance. Because at almost 60, what would I do? Sell all my shoes, I guess. And craft supplies for all of those projects I had dreams for, but never got off the ground. Those have gotta be worth something.

And my dogs. I worry about my dogs every day of my life. A gate or front door being opened and one of them getting loose and running free in the world and into traffic. Or one of the little ones being scooped up by a hawk, or a hungry coyote that was able to scale our 9 foot wall. The ones you read about every single day on while snarky neighbors attack the poster for posting yet another coyote sighting. I’m feeling a little arrhythmia right now just thinking about it.

I don’t fear airline travel, or being high above the clouds in a speeding metal canister - I more fear the guy next to me coughing. Or the man two rows in front of me with a possible death wish who might choose to open the exit door mid-flight.

Skidding on ice. It’s why I never go back to the Midwest during the winter. And if I have to, I never rent a car. I’d rather leave that to drivers whose knuckles don’t clutch the steering wheel like mine do. I like looking at snow outside the window from the comfort of my warm living room. Just don’t make me drive in it.

Spontaneous Human Combustion. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know it doesn’t happen every day, but it HAS happened. And because it has happened, it could easily happen to me. When I got my wisdom teeth extracted, one of the possible complications was “permanent numbness.” The chances were slim-to-none, but they were still there. And almost 40 years later, I still can’t feel my lower left lip. So who’s to say that one minute I won’t be sitting on my sofa watching “CBS Sunday Morning,” and the next minute I’ll be a pile of smoking ash, leaving my dogs tilting their heads in wonder.

Or root canals. Don't even get me started on root canals.

Those are the things that keep me up at night.

Those are the things my nightmares are made of.

Those are the things that go bump in my head.

So while the rest of you are watching “Halloween” marathons tonight, I’ll be wide-eyed in bed worrying about this eye twitch that’s been going on for days.

See you all at Christmas!


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