My partner has to fly to Southeast Asia on business this weekend. He found out three days ago. Surprise! I usually tag along when he heads somewhere but this time I can’t because of prior commitments.

Four nights alone in Tokyo means four nights with the lights on. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I’m scared of the dark. If there is someone in the room with me and it’s dark, I’m fine. I’m a good runner and figure that if the monster appears, ain’t no one gonna be able to outrun me. But if I’m alone in a room and it’s dark, well, I have problems.

It’s not the monsters so much as it is the ghost of that old lady I’m convinced “lives” in our foyer near the shoe closet. My theory is that she suffered a massive heart-attack while taking off her shoes after coming back from the nearby supermarket. She never put her shoes in the closet and now spends eternity trying to accomplish this task.

I know it sounds completely ridiculous but when I’m alone at night I avoid the foyer like Star Jones now avoids food and the truth.

It doesn’t help that I love watching scary movies. I own Alien and The Exorsist. I own Friday the 13th too but that doesn’t count–I only pop that on occasionally to watch the last 30 minutes and laugh my ass off. “Kill her mommy. Kill her. Don’t let her get away. Don’t let her live. I won’t Jason. I won’t.” Classic cheese.

Back in 1978 when I was six, I remember my mom covering my eyes in the theater when a trailer for Halloween came on. I took her hand away from my eyes and glared at her. I can’t say she didn’t warn me. That night, after banging on my parent’s locked bedroom door for about an hour, I cried myself to sleep.

I wonder which scary movie I’ll rent while my partner is away. Maybe I can invite a friend to spend the night. Preferably someone out of shape. Someone who smokes. Someone with a limp. Someone easy to out run should the monster appear.

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