When I was a little girl, we had all the necessary monsters assigned to our homes. In charge, was the boogie-man, who waited outside both the front and side door, and under each and every downstairs window. Inside, were the under-the-bed monster, the behind-the-furnace monster, and the soap-scummed, tubular bathtub-drain monster. And just as I learned how to fold laundry, and set a proper table, I also learned how to thwart their efforts to do whatever it is they were going to do once their efforts were realized.
In addition to these regulation household monsters, was the specially assigned monster-with-the-big-red-hand, living in my bedroom closet. He was invisible in the light. But like florescent clay, his squinty monster eyes, and pudgy monster hand, would glow in the dark.
I knew that if I were ever to look into his eyes, I would go insane. So at bedtime, when my mom turned off the light, and shut the door, closing off any hope of rescue, I would hide under my covers. And to make certain that I didn’t forget myself, and accidentally look into the eyes of the monster-with-the-big-red-hand, I would carefully tuck my blanket under the back of my head.
Why didn’t you just shut the closet door? some of you may ask.
And I would answer that in the whole of my childhood, in all the many different places we lived, as my father was stationed from state to state, country to country…not once did any of my bedrooms have a properly-functioning closet door.