Residue of Monsters

imageWhen I was a child, monsters scared me–the ones under the bed, those in my closet, those that lived wherever there was darkness. But now that I am an adult, it’s the monsters that exist in the broad daylight that scare me. They leave their residue everywhere, especially in cities–on pavements, on buildings and on trains. Having to look at their residue is as bad as having to look straight into their soggy, pussy eyes, to see every crooked hair sticking out from their undulated, patchy skin. I’ve never seen a monster but I’m tormented by their residue that settles in between the ridges on the bottom of my favourite shoes, making its way into my house. The residue is like a trail, a GPS tracker, that alerts the monsters to where I am at all times, to where I live. When I was young I could jump onto my bed to avoid the monsters and I’d be safe there for the rest of the night. But now my bed is infested with tiny parts of them. I roll around in it. It crawls into my dreams, makes my legs itch and darkens the colours on my sheets. The residue collects in the corners of my shower, blurs my mirrors and rusts my fridge. Some of it is airborne, stifling me on a humid day, breaking up the rays of sun I need to warm me. I spend hours trying to remove the trail, to rid myself of the reminder of the monsters so grotesque. But I could spend my entire life trying to do so. I’d have I ban others from my house to prevent them from leaving residue of their own monsters. Even so, I’d still pick up a lot of it when I walked around outside. It’s unavoidable, that ugliness. I try to turn my face from the line of sight of those monsters but inevitability forces my head back. The rumbling under their skin resembles burnt lasagna baking in the oven. I feel it in my bones. Their breath is like a clogged toilet–spreading everywhere. Sitting on the train I look at the residue that has become part of the seats and the floor, a part of me. Though it makes me nauseous, I look at the monsters directly in their eyes and surrender to their unavoidable accompaniment with a polite smile. After all, they’ve never really harmed me.

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