Do you remember bedtime as a child? I was terrified of the dark. I was terrified of the closed closet door that surely cracked open when I wasn’t looking and spewed out ghouls and devils. I took care that no arms or legs protruded from the bed. I sometimes slept with the covers over my head. Sweltering, panting, barely breathing. Not even my hair exposed, lest a monster discover and devour me. I remember begging my father to check under the bed. I remember trying to explain how some monsters had invisibility cloaks. He would kiss my cheek and switch off the light.
We stop looking under the bed once we realize that the monsters are inside us.
It’s funny how they transform. Suddenly they don’t mind daylight. Suddenly they dress nicely, speak our language, and share our customs. They sit next to us on the metro and jog around our neighborhoods. They slip things into our drinks at parties and offer us jobs. Sometimes we spot them, sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we even do the unthinkable: we invite them to our bed. As adults, we burn down the sanctuaries we created as children.
― Angela Panayotopulos, The Wake Up