First, a big squishy Debutante thank-you to Mia King for taking over last Saturday (hence my appearance here on Mia’s usual Thursday!). Did you all miss me? You did, didn’t you? You were bereft; you were nearly catatonic at the thought of getting through your weekend without the benefit of Deb Kristy’s words of wit and wisdom, right? Or did you even notice?
What else don’t we notice?
Some people are so attuned to their surroundings that it borders on narcissism, noting every shadow and noise in direct relation to their own physical presence. That weird ting came from the window. If it is a homicidal maniac (and of course it is, because if a random thing is to happen, it will happen to me, Me, MEEE!), I will chart my escape through the door farthest from that window, and will therefore be safe, free to bless the world with my presence for another bright and beautiful day.
Others don’t notice enough. Hmmm, that door was definitely locked when I left and now it’s standing open with rolls of duct tape and rope stacked outside and a van with covered windows idling at the curb. Ah well, really need that Yoplait, in I go!
Most people swing between the two extremes, and when it comes to ghosties, ghoulies, and things that go Boo! in the night I am no exception. My immediate reaction to the spooky often relies heavily upon what time it is and how much light there is in the room. But when I have a little time to process said spooky occurrence I tend to vacillate between my narcissistic self and my oblivious self.
* I am alone
* It is 3:37 a.m.
* I am in an old, creepy hotel room in which I am quite certain something horrific has taken place, because I just had to watch “Haunted Hotels” on the Travel Channel 3 minutes before I went to sleep
* It is darker than Marilyn Manson’s hair
A noise wakens me; what could it be?
Narcissistic Self: I stare into the black, waiting for my eyes to adjust, not moving, not breathing, because if it IS a ghost or a homicidal maniac they will not realize that I am awake, and therefore they will just leave me alone, OR, if something does start to happen, the fact that I am awake will take them by surprise and I will be prepared to fight, flee, or sob uncontrollably (which I hear helps with the supernatural, but rarely makes a difference to the homicidal).
I finally make out a chair in the corner. Has the chair…moved? I think it has. Something has definitely moved the chair. Could a ghost move a chair? Patrick Swayze managed to move a penny, but a chair? Must be the maniac. So where is he now?
Then Anti-Narcissistic self takes a turn: WHY would a homicidal manic be in your room moving chairs? Who would want to kill you? Really. I mean, let’s make a list. Nope. Can’t think of anyone. I know I tipped the waiter. I’ve not yet bumped Dan Brown off the bestseller list (but watch out Dan, The Debutante Ball is collectively gunning for you). I’m quite sure Angelina Jolie doesn’t know about that whole Brad Pitt thing (totally with you on the golden rays, Anna).
This naturally leaves The Case of The Moving Chair to a supernatural explanation. Yes, the hotel IS haunted, and I got the room. I got…THE ROOM. The room with the horrific splashes of blood on the walls (I can just make them out in the gloom), the room with the axe swinging through the gaslight, the room where the screams went unanswered. The chair is moved because there didn’t used to be a chair there, and (as we’ve learned from Tish) the dead are nothing if not determined to keep their surroundings as they remembered them. Yes, it is The Room, and the ghostly axe is coming for me next.
It is right around this time that I remember that I moved the chair.
It is now after 4:00 in the morning, and I have spent the last half hour of good sleep time obsessing over homicidal maniacs, ghosts, and furniture, and finally purposely oblivious self takes over: If it’s a ghost, well, really, what could it do? I’ve seen the movies, I’ve read the books. That ghostly axe will pass right through me, barely able to muss my hair. And if it’s a homicidal maniac, well, what the hell is he waiting for? If he touches me, I wake up, I’ll fight, I’ll flee, I’ll do what I can, but right now, I just can’t be bothered to think this hard at four o’clock in the morning. I need my sleep.
There are arguments for awareness and obliviousness, for noting every bump, every noise and for allowing that really, what are the odds? Get some sleep, folks. Chances are, neither the ghosts nor the homicidal maniacs are coming for you.
Unless you didn’t tip your waiter.