My relationship with darkness is complicated. Sort of a love/hate thing. I can’t sleep with the light on, but when I wake up in the night and find myself enveloped in blackness, the little girl that still lives inside of me is terrified. She still sees shapes in the shadows . . . my robe is a man in a top hat looming behind the door; the ceiling fan is the grim reaper, arms stretched toward my bed.
Still . . .
My favorite movie is a scary one.
My favorite holiday is Halloween.
My favorite book is a horror novel.
I love the dark. I fear the dark.
Have you ever been to Hobby Lobby? I don’t know why, but in every single Hobby Lobby, the bathroom is shoved in the most isolated part of the store, behind the styrofoam wreath forms and plastic flowers. It’s a dark and lonely place. I find this odd, because a lot of the folks who shop at Hobby Lobby meander. You can’t tell me that a few of them wouldn’t have to cop a squat at some point in time.
It boggles the mind.
I tend to drink a lot of coffee and/or soda.
Which means I can’t spend two hours in Hobby Lobby without my bladder filling at least once.
So I make my way to the back of the store. Back there, the wind sifts through the fake ficus leaves, sending them to rustling. A tumble weed or two blows by. The canned music fades into the distance, sounding a bit like a carousel tune.
The bathroom doors need a paint job. They are covered with that weird, textured paint that likes to 1) chip enough to reveal the previously rejected booger color and 2) absorb and retain the grimy print from every hand that ever rested there.
I always check my shoes for toilet paper when I leave.
Inside, the lights are off.
They are the sort of lights that are motion sensitive. They won’t come on unless you step into the darkness. And not only do you have to step into the darkness, you have to let the door close behind you and take some steps forward in order to trigger the sensors.
In other words, you have to trust that the electricity in the completely isolated Hobby Lobby bathroom with the dirty paint on the door will work.
God, thy name is Hobby Lobby Light Switch. And in thee I have to trust, even if I don’t wanna.
Back in the store again, the music is louder, the colors brighter, and the Halloween decorations are in stock because, hey, it is September 8. In the flouresent gleam of the store, they beckon. I brought a skull and it them on my desk to watch me work. It seems very amused.
Writing is a scary business.
Am I afraid of the thoughts will tumble from me onto the computer screen, or am I afraid I’ll produce nothing worth reading?
Could it be both?
Either way I’m going to keep checking my shoes for toilet paper.