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Sunday, April 01, 2007

Gollywoggles Vs. Grandpa ... it wasn't even close

How can you not be afraid? I was afraid. Sometimes I still am. When the lights are turned off. When it is very quiet. When no one else is at home. And I am trying to sleep. And I cannot. Because I just do not know.

What really IS under the bed?

Oh, in the day time it is safe to look. They do not come out until night time. They? Yes, they.

Gollywoggles.

They exist. You know it. I know it. You probably are afraid to admit it. I am too. But I force myself.

Worst of all ... she knows it. She cannot talk yet. She cannot protect herself. Still, she knows she needs protecting. It is an innate knowledge. I am not certain if we are born with it or if we learn it the hard way when we are very, very small. Like ten months old. Elle knows they are under her crib and that is why she cries when her mom and dad put her to bed every night. The gollywoggles do not come out until they close the door. And they quickly leave the moment before the door opens. Nobody sees them but her.

I remember them. They played in my closet after my parents tucked me in and gave me that final drink of water. I could hear the coat hangers jingling against each other. I actually convinced my mother to come and look once. But of course they were back under my bed by then. Maybe I am a strange man. Maybe I am the only one with this recall. I remember them. I remember what they looked like, sounded like, and how they smelled. Once you encounter a gollywoggle you tend to block it from your mind and convince yourself they really do not exist. By the time you are a teenager you have hidden the truth from your own soul. I was never able to block them. And so I remember.

Now you know why. Why when she comes to my house little baby Elle does not have to sleep alone. I put her between me and the wall. She cries for a minute and then she realizes that I am staying with her. She is safe. Gollywoggles do not come out when adults are present. And so I protect her.

Me and baby Elle. We've got a thing going on. We are pal's. We are buddies. We share her pacifier. Yesterday she fed me one of her coveted raisins right off of her high chair tray. She's my granddaughter. I am one of her grandfather's. And she is very safe sleeping at my house.

2 comments:

Kelli said...

With the flash on the camera you can't even tell it was dark in there.

Tracy said...

lol.. I love your story.. my uncle Namon use to tell us about not only Gollywoggles, but also snarfs when we were younger.

It was great to hear a tale from my childhood..