Tonight, I must celebrate another facet of my Valentines Day: pure movie-quality horror.
Late Sunday night after six hours of driving, my car finally trudged down the dark, pot-hole-laden alley, and grunted to a stop at my garage. My garage door is broken, another irritation for the past two weeks. During bitter February, I have fought the garage door open and then fought the door closed, sometimes twice a day.
I’m not that strong, but whenever I pull the door open or command it closed, I feel like Sampson from the Bible, performing incredible feats for the shock and awe of others. I sometimes imagine an appreciative audience in the alley gasping at my strength. I’m not sure why they’re standing around in my alley waiting for a strong man to impress them, but that’s how imagination works.
Sunday night, I walked into the dark garage from the side door inside my yard, and without turning on a light, did my Sampson thing. Then, I parked the car inside, and flipped on a light because I had plenty to unload: clothes, extra shoes, uneaten blueberries, Mom’s spaghetti, homemade birthday cake, and a bag of newspapers I dragged to Illinois because I labored under the delusion I may spend time reading. (I travel like a hoarder.)
Before I actually moved anything out of the car, I looked up.
Right now, click on my Photos page and witness my homecoming. Seriously, go check it out now. This post will be here when you get back.
(Dum, dee dum…de dum…hmmm mmmhmm.)
You’re back? Great.
My first thought was, ‘It’s not going to like being hung like that.’ I am disturbed that my brain worried about the doll’s feelings. That’s messed up. But when you encounter a cloth, clown doll hanging from your garage, perhaps wondering about the horrific, supernatural implications is not unwarranted.
Immediately, I knew Dave and Don perpetrated this hanging because, A) I unloaded that clown doll on them at Christmas, B) Dave left two Sunday messages in a concerned voice just ‘checking in,’ which I now recognize was code for ‘did you see it?’, and C), it’s Dave and Don.
I suppose they didn’t care for how we last parted.
A week ago, we met at their house and enjoyed a delicious breakfast together, laughing our asses off. Before we dined, they gifted me Valentines Day peeps.
I said, “You know I hate these things.”
They said cheerfully, “We know. Happy Valentines Day.”
At an opportune moment when they left the room, I hid the Peeps inside their piano. But later, as I was hugging my goodbyes, Dave said, “Where are they? Don, he’s not holding them.”
“Gotta run,” I said, and I ran to my car.
As I raced down the sidewalk, Dave took off into the house, and I fumbled with my car keys, knowing I had only seconds before he found them and chased after me.
Found the unlock button.
Hopped in the car, zoomed the engine.
Jerked away from the curb, waving out the passenger window, watching Dave fume on the front porch, shaking the sugar-coated red marshmallow after me.
Ha ha ha ha ha hah. I win.
And now, their revenge: the evil clown doll dangled over my car.
I was alone in the dark with that thing.
Moments later on my back porch, I discovered Revenge Part II: the red-sugared Peeps. They had been stripped of their packaging and ripped apart, artistically arranged in a snow drift, tastefully reminding me not to fuck with Dave and Don on a day dedicated to love.
Silently, I vowed to accept all future holiday Peeps.
I will say ‘thank you.’
I will take them home.
I will not eat them, but I will take them home and add to my growing collection in the basement.
There’s nothing like a little heart-pounding terror to help me forget sadness. And I must admit that I chuckled while trying to clean up the half-melted peeps, which had molted their red, sugar skin, and devolved into slippery bubbles of marshmallow. Seriously, who eats these?
Dave and Don’s grotesque gesture somehow sparked more energy into me. I decided to use this week to Get. Shit. Done. I organized piles of taxes and miscellaneous papers. Made a dent in those newspapers I keep dragging around. I committed to stopping caffeine. Called a guy to fix the garage door.
Dad came home from the hospital today and as reported by mom, was last seen napping in his big chair, a familiar hobby for the past 30 years. Tonight, I sleep better knowing he’s snoring in front of the TV, and mom’s half-dozing in the chair next to his, waking occasionally to worry about tomorrow’s dinner.
Today was a good day.
I was also pleasantly surprised to find that the Joe, the Garage Door Guy, installed the new motor. While admiring and testing the remotes he left behind, I noticed the evil clown doll sitting on a step ladder and realized I had forgotten to move it.
Either Joe found and moved it (which is disturbing), or the thing really did not like being hung that way and un-hung itself (which is also disturbing). Perhaps most disturbing is that I couldn’t be bothered to remember that I had an evil clown doll dangling from a garage rafter. How do you forget something like that?
I have heard rumor that some people get roses on Valentines Day, or candy which does not repulse them nor melt into sludge.
I’d like to try that some year.