The monster comes out in the dark and disappears with the flick of a light switch. He's in league with the wind, the bats, and occasionally even the windmill outside. The monster has deep, painful scars.
|I thought I could, I thought I could.|
At bedtime, I ninja-kick the monster, and Papa drags his hairy carcass to the door. When he returns, Grampo punches him till his teeth fall out like glitter, and Ali bites him with her tiger teeth. Then we hoist him onto a spit and gather for a monster BBQ (monsters taste like chicken).
But the monster slogs ever onward on like Casey Junior. The childhood brain is cavernous - like chasing a bubble under plastic, the monster just goes to another mental corner when pursued.
After bedtime is declared, there is always the squeak of a doorknob, the pitter-patter of frightened feet, and the world's littlest whisper: "I'm afraid of the monster!"
|If you prick me, do I not bleed?|
I like to picture the monster as I fall asleep on guard duty. In my mind, he is a kicked dog gripping a styrofoam cup of weak tea in some faceless, suburban NHS monster dental clinic.
He mumbles to himself, quietly cursing Maurice Sendak for giving his kind a bad name. He traces the outline of where his teeth used to be with the tip his tongue, and his fingertips wince as they run over tiny tiger teeth marks on his arms. He wishes he could forget the cold feeling of hard earth under his backside, and how piercing the stars look when he finds himself alone again in the darkness on the wrong side of the door.
"I coulda been somebody", he insists to the empty NHS waiting room. One of these days he'll pack it all in and run off with the circus.