Tonight was strange. I was running through the gated neighborhood across the street (Yes, I run now. You know. No big deal.) I passed a wide storm drain opening in the curb. The day had been brutally hot, and the night wasn’t much cooler. It was almost 80 at 10 o’clock at night with zero breeze, and it was unearthly quiet. As I passed the opening, this wave of hot air shot out followed by a whooshing sound, and it stunk so bad I almost lost my dinner. It felt as though I was just belched on by someone who’d eaten something along the lines of a dead badger mixed with some limburger cheese. It was horrifying.
And then I thought about ‘It’. Stephen King’s utterly mesmerizing tome about a demon that would show up as a demented clown in the sewers, one of my all-time favorite books. And suddenly, I pictured the arm of that clown reaching out and grabbing for my ankle as I ran past. In saner days, I would have let this imagery wash over me. I’d have evaluated it, decided that I was a grownup and being ridiculous, all while subtly changing my trajectory until I found myself running on the opposite side of the street. You know. Just to be safe.
But not today. Today, I shrugged. So? What if a demented demon clown WERE real? And he was right there, in that sewer? And what if he really DID reach out and drag me by my Nike’s, pulling me into the depths of that stinking, filthy place? What if he looked me right in the eye as he eviscerated me, my guts flayed out all around me? Or plucked out my eyes and ate them like grapes? Or tore my limbs off and roasted and ate them while I watched helplessly? And then I thought ‘Meh. I’ve been through that already. What could he possibly do to me that wasn’t already done to me by Honey? Bring it on.’ And I just kept running.