Friday, May 16, 2008


My overactive imagination will be the death of me yet.

Walking down the street tonight, I could hear the tail end of an argument between a woman standing in the doorway of a house I passed, lights on in the room behind her, sounds of a family inside muffled.... and the man who stood below her, one foot on the last step... rain drizzling down on him as he lifted both his head and his voice to continue what had obviously been going on before I came upon them.

"Don't come here again without telling me first, you know the Court Order!", she hissed, I could see her gripping her elbows with the opposite hands, in the classic outraged stance.

"You are going to fuck with me once too often... you've done it now, you fucking bitch!"

The challenge was given as I crossed the far end of their lawn, "What are you going to do about it, pussy?".

I cringed, waiting for the MK-47 (is there such a weapon?) to come blasting out, blowing her and me into the next world in a spray of bullets, knowing I would die because she had pushed his buttons once too often.

Thankfully, she just slammed the door in his face.

I worry all the time about being sliced and diced by unknown assailants who slide in at the last minute into the drugstore, as I'm waiting, the only person there, buying a box of pretend Kleenex and a Mounds bar. While I wait, fidgeting in the dim light as the clerk calls for a price check, I imagine the NYPost headlines the next day:


"We didn't even know they still made the clear barrel Bic Pens", says the Staten Island Police Chief, who wishes to remain anonymous. "I was pretty shocked, I can tell you. So, I made sure to pick some up for my son. The CSI unit said the blood should clean off pretty easily."

I tremble when I go from the train to my little flat on a dark and stormy night, knowing in the shadows, zombies lurk. Beneath the sounds of the leaves scuttling across a lawn, I can hear their shuffling feet and their huffing breath. Well, maybe not the breathing, but, well, you know... there is a reason I keep my hair short, and it's not just because it's bad hair. All of the people with long hair...they can grab it when you are running, and they shuffle behind you. Think about it, everyone with a mullet....aside from being a poor hairstyle choice, you are prime zombie food. Cut your hair! Organise before they rise!

I worry every bit of rat or mouse poo will give me Hanta Virus. I'm not sure what Hanta Virus does, but, I know I'll get it.

Mosquito bite? Each of my 4762 bites is surely infected with Nile Virus.

If any skunk in existence has rabies, it's the one that makes my Utah backyard his home.

During a storm, I can actually see the tree limb being struck by lightening, and falling on me, leaving me helpless on the deserted street.... with no life alert bracelet to activate.

Put me on a ferry, and I will build any number of stories, good or bad, about those around me... people have moved after I've stared for too long. Maybe it's the fact I have cried on occasion, and whispered, "I'm so sorry!".

When someone is sick, I let them die, have the funeral, and bury them...especially my children when they were young. HRH was very ill as a baby... that, I think, was a protective thing on my part. I did it in my head, so, should it have happened, I was ready.

I live in my head far too much at times, I see shadows and monsters and when Steven King's 'Salem's Lot came out, I actually hung a crucifix over my bed and had a jar of chopped garlic (it was all we had in the icebox) next to my bed. They could come in and suck the blood of the Godmother and her son, but, I'd be the Survivor.

I do the entire scenario in my head....plot, script, voices, cast and crew. I even include food services and a union rep. If nothing else, I try to be considerate for all of those contained in my cranium creations.

I have always been this way... as a child, I would pray every night for God to NOT pick me to be one of the chosen for the Blessed Virgin Mary to appear to, in order to be made holy and one of those who would be sainted.

First of all, I was nearsighted, and I'd have to get right in her face to see who it was.... this does not make a good first impression on the BVM. There she is, hovering above the floor in your bedroom... roses at her feet, and you are on tiptoe, nose to nose saying, "Who ARE you?" I don't see her taking lightly to this kind of treatment.

Secondly, my long held, and oft voiced, belief that it's bad luck to be chosen. You tell someone who tells someone and next thing you know, you are whisked off to Rome, spilling the Holy Secret to the Pope, who puts you into a Convent where you wear cheap wool or worse yet, polyester, and you have to remain silent and ask for forgiveness for the world's sins. Then, you die young of consumption or anal fissures or huge gaping wounds or something equally gross. You don't get to have fun things like Tourettes or pretend Tourettes and scream and throw yourself about and have people say, "Oh, isn't she holy spouting off all those curse words!".

Up side? Fast track to sainthood, bypassing even Mother Theresa.

It was a real fear, ask my family.

I used to fear someone breaking into the house and killing us all. I felt it was best to be the survivor, who would bravely carry on. That plot, too, was in my head.... the murder, the police, the funerals.... I'd cry. But, I had to survive first. The question was, how to do it?

My bedroom was on the ground floor of our house in Colorado. On the same floor was a minute (5x5) bathroom my mother decorated in white, cerise and chartreuse. This included one full wall of foiled wallpaper in those colours that reflected in the mirror hung under a bright white light.

I don't know why.

We never knew how she found wallpaper with those colours in it, to be honest. I do know you didn't want to turn the light on when you came home drunk, to find the wallpaper suddenly swirling about and reflected in the mirror, all pinky purple and a green that is best seen in a liquor bottle. Trust me on that one.

It also held the laundry room. That held my salvation.

I practiced waking up, something I can actually do when I wish, at a particular time.. go figure... I would wake up, and snap the covers on my bed, stealthy creep out the door which I kept well oiled, slide down the hallway, and into the laundry room. There, I eased open the dryer and curled up inside the dryer, pulling the door shut.

I was safe while my family was being slaughtered upstairs.

My dog learned to ignore me, I had never moved much in my sleep.... a habit I learned young, and sleeping with my maternal MaMaw, with whom I shared a bed for a bit, and who told me things under the bed would pinch me--actually, it was her--so, I lay in one spot... I'd roll out, creep out, slither my17 year old, 5'7", 108lb frame down the hall, into the dryer and PRESTO!!

Sole survivor. Outwit. Outlast. Outplay. Who needed Jeff Probst?

This remained my clever scheme until the night I dozed off a bit inside the was warm in there. I was brutally awakened by my mother, who had come in late and decided to do a load of laundry... she opened the dryer to put in the wet clothes and found me; curled up and asleep.

"Quin Anne...what in the hell are you doing??"

I screamed, my voice echoing in the enclosed space. I think I peed a little in fear.

It ended my dryer plan... I heard her go upstairs muttering to my father "I'm telling you, there is something wrong with that child." She also told everyone we knew about finding me in the dryer.... not seeing my brilliant plan, only finding amusement in my being curled up with a few towels and a bra.

I'm still impressed I fit.

I quit putting my feet near the bed when I get in it... again, demons under it...when I was around four, and it's something I still don't do.. you never can tell, and I'm not going to look to confirm if the old lady was lying or not. That also stops me from letting any portion of my hands or feet go from under the covers.

All I know is, one day, I'm going to have my imagination going, and something is going to happen...

And all of you naysayers will be proven wrong with thinking me wrong.

Just remember, he who laughs last is really screaming in fear.


Writeprocrastinator said...

"I live in my head far too much at times"

The sign of a good writer and a bad introvert, though you don't strike me as an introvert at all.

It's an AK47, or Avtomat Kalashnikova-47, the world's most popular automatic rifle in terms of proliferation and sales. Mihail Kalishnikov designed it and he only received rubles for his troubles.

Mister Restraining Order would probably pull out a pistol that was no less deadly at that range, but more compact.

"Just remember, he who laughs last is really screaming in fear."

Good gravy, is that the perfect movie poster line or what?

Bob Clay said...

In the long dark shadows of the night I often see monsters lurking, even down here in Cornwall.

There are the ubiquitious Velociraptors, venting their rage, the tower of fury that is the Tyrannosaurus, and further back, the dark thing, the thing that glistens oilily in the moonlight, the thing that even the big lizards steer clear of.

Strangely, I only see these things on my home from the pub.


Anonymous said...

Lordy, Lordy, girl, your imagination is amazing! At 5'7", how DID you fit into the dryer...? Run away from those "domestics" as fast as you can; they really ARE dangerous. All the time in the news you see examples of how the restraining order was violated when so-and-so shot his/her (usually 'him') spouse and then himself..., leaving behind...(children, etc.). There is Utah again; are you moving...? Have a great and SAFE weekend, Quin!

the Constantly Dramatic One said...

And I thought I have a kickass imagination...............

But mine usually revolves around fairies and secret doors. Dont ask.

Harriet V said...

Maybe you'd better get a Life Alert, just in case you lose your phone...or your blackberry...or your balance.

Peter Varvel said...

I'm impressed, too, that you still fit in the dryer at age 17.
Why does this post make think of the Golfwidow phenomenon of always being the one to get a bone in your plate of boneless buffalo wings? . . . a scarier, paranoid version of that, even if only imaginary . . .
As kids we used to take turns taking rides in the dryer. Looking back, I'm surprised we even thought to put the setting on 'air' rather than 'heat.'

Bud said...

Holy shit, Quin. Just Holy shit! I actually was stuffed in the drier by my brother and he turned it on. And I thought Salem's Lot was the scariest book of all times. But I'm having a hard time getting my head around your fears. I'm really worried about you. Hey what sized T-shirt did you want? You want one big enough to hide in?

Quin Browne said...

wp~on the history of the gun, meet bob clay, who posted beneath you. after his many lectures on the darn thing, you'd think i'd have known that. still, i got three of the four characters right. glad you liked the last line. ha!

bob~meet wp. discuss ak-47's. and don't forget the feared spinosaurus? ah huh.

cr~yep, i'm moving. theater to do, a house to live in... new adventures!


dramatic one~do tell~

those who were put into or climbed into dryers... are you NUTS?

now, to answer the question about me fitting...

i am 5'7"... my legs are 41" from the hip. at 17, i was very bendy... i can still easily bend and put my hands under my feet. so, i just folded up and scootched in.

a medium (mens) will do, bud, thanks. a bigger size leaves material for whomever i am running from to grab.