Birchwood place. That was the name of the small street where I spent the beginning of my childhood. My parents owned a townhouse that I still dream about today.

Birchwood proved to be an awesome street to grow up on when doing those Facebook quizzes that tell you what your porn name would be. See example below:

Name of your first pet: Baxter
Name of the street you grew up on: Birchwood

My porn name is apparently Baxter Birchwood. And that makes me very happy.

We lived in the townhouse until I was ten. I slept in my own bedroom a very small percentage of that time. From early on I was terrified of the dark. Not a little scared, I’m talking nighttime tantrums and crying fits if my parents wouldn’t let me into their room to sleep on the floor.

My bedroom was on the second floor adjacent to the staircase. I remember one night sitting on my knees in the twin bed, holding tight to the guardrail that held me in. I had to have been no more than a few years old. The lights were off except for a dim glow from the kitchen downstairs. I would watch the shadows that lined the staircase wall like cave paintings from hell. I was so sure that as I watched those shadows, I would begin to see one move as a man slowly walked up the stairs. I would be able to see the top of his head surface as he ascended the steps slowly. Then his face, cast in darkness. I would see this man in my mind so clearly, waiting for him every night.

He carried a large knife that would be used to stab my 4-year-old body repeatedly. All while my parents slept in their bedroom, door locked and completely unsuspecting. But they would be next. He would manage to enter their bedroom and murder them while I lay lifeless and bloody in my bed.

I could feel his presence. His cold and evil intent.

But he never did come.

Night after night I would watch the darkness, the shadows, the staircase. Some nights I would brave it out for an hour. Most nights I would cry until I was granted VIP access to the safety zone. Usually it was just a given that I would be sleeping in my parents room. I slept on a floor for most of my childhood until about age thirteen.

How I understood that kind of emotion and fear so young is something that I take pride in. It makes absolutely no sense why a three or four year old would piece together horrific scenes, feel such intense emotion. I don’t know where it came from, but it paved a path as I grew up.

That fear is an underlying force in my life. So much so that even as I write this entry alone in my house, lights off with a single candle lit, in the back of my mind I imagine a man quietly breaking into my home. He is standing behind me, peering ominously though the closed glass door that separates this room from the living room. He is completely in shadow, but holds something in his hand. Some kind of knife or gun, I’m sure. My heart begins to race, but I keep telling myself there is no way. I know myself and my overly active, dark imagination.

But what if this is that one time. I hear the dog growling in the other room.

Shit.

I turn around and walk out to inspect the house.

I guess some demons never leave. But then again I wonder if I ever really want them to.

 

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