Saturday, April 21, 2007

Fear


I have been born and raised here, in the house I still live in now. From the very beginning this has been my bedroom. On the door, there used to be this enormous picture of a clown, glued to the surface like wallpaper. I don't like clowns.

As a little kid, the picture started to scare me. Just like teddy bears come to life when you're sleeping, this clown was alive in some sense. I remember dreaming about him. He would come out of the picture, he dragged me out of my bed and through the house, hitting me. It was quite shocking. And then I would wake up on the cold floor - right in front of him. I didn't dare to stand up and get back into my bed. He was my bedtime monster, not hidden in the closet or under my bed, no, right there in the open.

Me and my dad scraped off the clown long ago, and repainted the door - first it was pink, nowadays a very light shade of yellow. But I still dislike clowns. I dislike their exaggerated painted faces, their clothes in loud clashing colors. Clowns pretend to be cheerful and bird-brained, but you know they're not. It's just an act. They might be incredibly sly and evil creatures underneath - who knows what's hiding beneath those cheery masks of greasepaint? If I would watch It (the film version of the Stephen King novel) I would never be able to sleep again. I've just looked up the film poster on the internet, and I cannot look at it for more than a few seconds. Seriously, it scares the hell out of me. Less scary clowns just disgust me. It's amazing how childhood experiences leave their mark.

In many ways I miss the imaginative power that accompanies childhood. But that vivid imagination also brings about less positive experiences. And although many of our fears were absolutely groundless, they didn't feel less intense, did they? We have all felt terrified, our hearts beating against our chests and all the way up in our throats, with a violence we never hope to experience again - because if we do, later in life, we will have a truly terrifying reason for it. I really believe it was that bad at times. As a kid it's just so difficult to nuance emotions, everything feels so intense. And sometimes I miss that intensity.

Sometimes I don't.

1 comment:

  1. First of all, you were the cutest little baby Renee. Oh my goodness what a beautiful pic!!

    Secondly, that clown on the door would have scared the hell out of me too. I'm with you on the clown thing, they're just creepy!

    And lastly, I used to be absolutely terrified of a doll my parents bought me for Christmas one year. It was about 3 feet tall! I didn't like how it looked at me and would never look at it in the face. I thought it was possessed. Yeck!

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