Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Basement

I'll be the first to admit that one of my favorite movie genres is the super gory horror movies. In fact, the more effed up a movie is, the more sadistic, the more I can't take my eyes of the screen. This doesn't mean I'm a Natural Born Killer, (in fact I watched that movie tonight and wondered how it is that someone could ever act like that), I think I watch movies like this (and it's so tame compared to some of the gorier movies I have watched) because I can't fathom the reasoning behind the logic that creates the monsters.

The thing that has me wondering how I can even stand horror movies (no matter how cheesy) is the couple of years I couldn't handle going into our basement. When we first moved into our very first owned home, one of the enticements was supposed to be this undeveloped basement. The enticement, I guess, was that we were allowed to do whatever we wanted with it. An extra bedroom? A playroom? Somewhere to store our junk without TLC showing up to do a Hoarders episode on us? All things I'm sure my parents consider when writing the cheque.

Our old house had a basement, in sense, I guess. It was just developed and considered the place my brothers and uncle slept, and where the family watched TV (God forbid, we set foot in the upstairs living room that was reserved for guests!!). The new house had a door that opened to a stairway, leading into a dark, empty space. Stephen King, R.L. Stine, and Christopher Pike had started to play with my mind by that time and the stairway only seemed to lead to something menacing (even though I wanted so bad for it to lead to a Narnia like setting!).

I can recall Muds (my mom) asking me to grab something from down there and my heart racing at the very thought. As a raised Catholic, I would pray and pray AND pray to God while opening the door that I would be safe. I had no idea what I thought might be lurking down there-- anywhere from poltergeists to rapists, I guess. Blessing myself before heading down the stairs, I would race for whatever was required from me and race back, thinking that at any moment, my last breath would come. times, I would time myself and even hold my breath.

As I got older, I got wiser (okay..well somewhat wiser, I became more daring anyway). And it seemed that once walls were built and a carpet laid down, the place seemed less menacing. Albeit, I was still scared. Once I learned I could get drunk down there without getting caught or in trouble, suddenly the demons left the scene (thought: do I drink not only cause it relaxes me BUT also because I believe it scares away the evil things???), and I was contented to spend hours in our basement. When my brother was allowed to move back home, the basement became his domain, and he and I would spend hours hanging out, drinking, watching tv, playing childhood games and jamming down there. The basement seemed suddenly less formidable.

When I moved in with my dad, he finished his basement and created a space for me. I was all too eager to not only have my own bedroom, but a living room as well. BUT, so many nights I would wake up screaming because it felt as though a person was standing next to my bed, scaring the shit out of me. Were we haunted or was my mind warped with reading too many "ghosts in the basement" stories? Hard to say. I was a tough little soldier though and continued living in his basement for a couple of years.

Where is all this coming from you might ask? Well, it's been hot as hell the last couple of weeks. I am having troubles sleeping in my apartment despite the fan and every window open. My pets are stressing out because it's been so hot. And all I can think about is how awesome it would be to have a basement to set up a bed in for a night or a couple of weeks so that I can get a decent night's sleep. And then, while lying awake in the heat thinking about this, I remember all of the nights and day that the very thought of a basement would paralyze me with fear and I wonder if I could really do it. Have I grown beyond being a scaredy-cat? Or am I now selfish enough that I would rather be able to sleep than worry if I might start talking through a Television to let my loved ones know that I need help? Hard to say, because even though I am the first to watch a gore fest, I also watch those gore-fests wrapped in a blanket unable to look away, and then stay up wondering all the possibilities of a different outcome.

I think I am still a chicken. But a tough little chicken that might be able to out-smart the basement demons.

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