reid listening to music with headphones in dark

Something not so wicked this way comes

August 12, 2021

   One of my Friday night enjoyments is to stay up after Carol has gone to bed, crank up the volume on my headphones, pour a glass, turn off the lights in the living room and blast off with my classic rock Amazon playlist. And no, I am not drinking alone in the dark. The headphones, remember?

   In setting up this tale of spookiness,  I should add that I have a lifelong fear of the dark. Whether it’s a clinical fear or not, I’m not sure. But anyone unexpectedly roaming shadowlike around in the dark, say simply coming back to bed from a bathroom break, can send shudders up my spine.  Sudden unexpected noises is something else that will have me jumping out of my skin. Combine the two, and I might have a Nightmare On Elm Street playing out live before me.

 I was hearing it only for the second time, so I wasn’t sure of all its potential nuances. Halfway through it, I heard my name. Quietly at first, then a second and a third calling out, rising now above the base and drumbeat.

   And on regular sleepless nights, I might wander out to my usual place on the couch that during the day hosts countless short naps. Within minutes, I’m usually getting drowsy enough to head back to bed. That is unless Carol suddenly drifts into the room to find me, and it’s Freddie Kruger, Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers all at once, at which point I have to start settling back down all over again.

   Back to the headphones. I recently discovered John Cooper Clarke’s “Evidently Chickentown,” and added it to my playlist. It’s got a manic quality to its pounding rhythm that can take on a surprisingly haunting, Rob Zombie quality, especially, as it turns out, when listening to it alone in the dark.

   I was hearing it only for the second time, so I wasn’t sure of all its potential nuances. Halfway through it, I heard my name. Quietly at first, then a second and a third calling out, rising now above the base and drumbeat. My first thought was that the song was disturbing the usual voices in my head. It was chilling, almost macabre, but also fascinating in its distinct essence in calling out to me. Wow, I thought, this is some song! It was on the fourth calling of my name that I happened to look to my left and saw Carol, poised motionless, as if conjured from sulphuric depths. The only thing missing from the image was a meat cleaver in an outstretched arm.

   There was a moment or two before I could start peeling my fingers from the ceiling.

   Carol thinks it is the funniest thing. But when she reprised that monotone Reid, Reid, Reid for giggles, Clarke’s song immediately started playing in my head like a soundtrack. And I know I’ll never be able to listen to “Evidently Chickentown” again without that disembodied Reid, Reid, Reid rising miasmically from the dark caves of my newly redecorated psyche.

   One thing for sure. There’s going to be a light on somewhere in the vicinity from now on. And knowing Carol, she won’t be able to let this go, so I’ll have to be on my guard constantly until this phase passes. But what if it doesn’t?

   Friday the 13th, Part…


Read the last “Shake my Head” post here!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.