Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Bogeyman

Please be aware that there may be triggers in this entry. 

  Halloween's fast approach has me thinking of monsters. Not the cute kind like the ones on Sesame Street.. No, I mean the real ones. The ones that walk among us with little to no notice. They have learned to assimilate. Something their victims spend a lifetime trying to master how to do. To hide the blackened brand. The mark placed upon us by these cruel creatures. It is very common for them to go unchallenged. Free to molest the minds and bodies of the unwitting. It is just as common when the monster is named, called out, that others come to their defense. Proclaiming the victim an instigator.  An attention seeker. they do not wish to have their pristine apple cart turned over. To have to look at that fruit closely and realize what they thought was good and healthy, has a rotten core. I have no idea what makes a monster a monster. Is it lack of feeling? Lack of empathy? A thrill at the thought of bringing pain to another? To be master and dictator over the victim. I do not spend much time in that arena. I have little care as to the why. My concern is the who.

  The disenfranchised. The broken. Those that walk in the shadows. As a small child, I was fearful of the Bogeyman. A shapeless, mysterious dark force, meant to do me harm. I do not know where I learned of him. It was too long ago. But, I grew up looking behind doors and searching dark corners. Waking up in my bed late at night, disturbed by some half heard noise and holding my breath. Laying in the dark. Too afraid to lift my head. Listening. Was he here? Did he see me? As all bogeymen do, mine grew more menacing as I grew older. He became more defined. He was so different than I had imagined him in the beginning. I was shocked, heartbroken when I realized my special bogeyman looked just like me father. And unlike so many times before, when I woke in a fit of night terror, I could see him and he surely could see me. I had wished so hard that that was all he could do to me.

  Many times the monsters hide behind well crafted masks. Years in the making. They take such care. Invest so much, all to make sure that they blend in. That no one will notice them. They depend on it. And so when they are called out, when some brave soul dares to speak up, they are very often not believed. Why would they say such a horrid thing? What was wrong with them? And the victim becomes the accuser. Somehow, the aggressor. And it is such an exquisite trap. So easily laid. Clearly they are troubled. This name caller. This evil act insinuator. And just as if it was scripted, they act out. They cut, or they drink, drugs or sexually provocative behavior. They are angry. They do not sleep. Heads are shook and hands wrung. What can be done? They are clearly broken. And the monsters go on. They feed unabated in an orchard of fruit. They became tenders to the crop. Waiting for their chance. Waiting to take what is not theirs. They eat freely. Hungrily. And they will not be stopped.

  They will ravage whole fields of the bounty before them. They labor over the reaping. Sacrificing everything to an appetite that cannot be satiated. Unless someone cuts them down. Unless someone looks behind that well placed mask. It is the only chance to save the saplings. Those still untouched and those that have been trampled. They must be propped up and staked with care. So that they can grow. So that they may reach up and catch the light. The warmth of the sun. The soothing drops of a rain that washes the soot from their leafs. So that they may go on. So that someday we finally stop them. These viscous creatures that loom in the shadows. Nodding and smiling. Watching the yield.  Counting their numbers and waiting. Always waiting.

  So be wary. Always be sure, your crop is well tended and if by chance a well meaning being offers to take your shift. To watch while you rested. You are tired aren't you? You do so much. If they beseech you to let them lift that load off your back. Say no. Beware the fruit picker offering their service. They are shape shifters. Teacher, coach, boyfriend, husband, father,preacher, doctor.........They come in so many varieties. So many masks. So keep watch. Light your lanterns and hold them high. Cast out the shadows and look with clear eyes. The Bogeyman is out there. He is real and he is unfed. He must be flushed out. Starved out. Pointed out. He must bare the label. It is his alone. The stigma of thief, of taker, of murder of hope. He must be caged and bound up. Locked away. With no view of the grassy hills and the orchard beyond. The Bogeyman is coming....he is real...

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