I hate being in a big house alone in suburbia. I am more frightened to my core here than I was in my ex-boyfriends Harlem apartment. Largely because we all know that the murders that happen in suburbia are random, sick, chop you up in pieces, torment you, white psychotic guys with tons of issues. You know the stalkers, the Dexters, the one’s who just enjoy the thrill of a kill and torture. I’ve got quite the imagination. I wake up with my jaw in lock, I’ve grinded my teeth throughout the night. My fear is a planted seed inside my brain. I wish some inception would occur to convince my mind that rainbows and happiness are all that will occur in the night. Which, if I let my mind go there, it’s mostly true…
The rule of suburbia is that all the children are tucked into their beds. Their bikes are in the garage. The dogs sleep at the edge of the bed. The quiet is peaceful, not disturbing. The hum of insects and frogs are proof of clam nature. Where for me all these things are the perfect scene of complete horror. All your guards are down. You will be slaughtered and no one will know because you are in your own suburb cycle. Only when the garbage man comes around for the second week with your car in the driveway will people start to wonder… where are you?
I can’t sleep under these conditions of wholesome safe calm nights. I need cars bustling below my window, some drunk love fool yelling something around 3am, the neighbor walking in the apartment above. I need the hum of a city. For me, it’s not a stretch to say my sleeping life is like to scene out of My Cousin Vinny. I need a prison riot in the background to sleep safely. At 23 it’s still an accomplishment if I muster the courage to walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Getting out of my bed takes mental strength because you know, when they know (the killer/stalker) you are awake.. you are doomed. It was better when I had a one up and they didn’t know I was awake. At least then you could tweet, instagram, facebook, text, whatsapp your fear to the world and tell someone to call the police for you (you know so you don’t have to make sound talking). Do you know 911 doesn’t take text messages? I would like my tax dollars to go to a program that makes that a reality. How do I know that you ask? Because I let my mind get the best of me here one night.
All it took was a loaded mind, 3-5 noises inside the house and completely paralyzed in my bed. Watching the light underneath the door. Watching for shadows. I could of sworn I turned the light off. But what kind of intruder turns the light on? Oh right, the crazy ones that chop you up. So arrogant to believe and know that they could get away with turning a light on. No neighbor would pay mind to it. Well, the dogs didn’t move though, they always move to noises. It must be my mind. Calm yourself. The phone is in your hand, just stay very still and listen for a sound. A heavy creak comes from what seems like the stairs. HE IS COMING UPSTAIRS. THERE IS SOMEONE IN THE HOUSE. okay. Action plan? Well the dogs will surely bark and all I need to do is get down the stairs and straight out the front door because then I can scream to the neighborhood and the dogs will be barking and running.. they will help the cause. I don’t want have to panic like that. That is the emergency plan. The first line of defense is a text message with my address to 911 and then my cousin who lives near. I was determined and convinced.
Me: There is an intruder in my house, This is my address. Please come immediately
911 response: 911 does not receive text messages, please call in the emergency.
Fuck you 911. I am so angry I paid taxes. I could of used that money to not have to dog sit in this house. This is why people die before you get there, they are caught speaking on their phones. Everyone knows this.
okay. text my cousin john.
Me: I believe there is an intruder. Can you please call 911 for me? Thanks.
John: What happened?
Me: I hear noises in the house; I am completely paralyzed in fear I am afraid to even talk on the phone. Can you please call someone for me? (It was open to interpretation if at that point it meant a psychiatrist or police.)
John: I’ll be there in 5, lock your bedroom door if you can
Okay. Someone is coming! yes. okay well then if someone is in the house that means they don’t know I have someone coming! yes. #winning. Just going to text one more person so just in case this intruder is some Dexter motherfucker and takes out John, I can have them call someone if I don’t text them in exactly 30 minutes.
Me: Hi, If I don’t text you in 30 minutes. you need to call the police to this address. this is not a joke. do it.
Okay. All bases covered. Now I wait. Staring at the light beneath my door. Waiting. It seemed like forever. Text message from John..
john: I am going to walk around the house first then go through the garage.
Garage door opens 4 minutes later. Dogs are barking hysterically. John announces himself in the house. I can hear him searching every room. He is coming up the stairs. Oh that is what it sounds like when someone walks up the stairs (take mental note for future reference). I call out, "John I am in Madison’s room." I am now up and out of my bed at the door waiting for him to come to mine and open it, the dogs at my feet barking hysterically.
He opens the door and all I see is him with a gun in his hand. One room left to search. I was never so happy to see someone with a gun. Although I was taken aback nonetheless.
A wave of relief filled my body. I knew that I was foolish and was wrong about the person in the house, but I needed someone to verify that for me. Otherwise I would have stared at that door in silence like a zombie was on the other end (The I am Legend kind) . Waiting for dawn to open the door and go outside. My cousin John was the best. He told me he totally understood was happy to come, looked at all the doors again, and wished me a good night.
I went back up into the room, locked the bedroom door, dogs at my feet, and phone in my hand. I still didn’t want to stop watching the door. You know, what if it was a stealth killer? Hid while my cousin searched, ya kow?
Give it a rest Bianca.
I awoke in the morning. Opened the back door and made my morning coffee. Sat on the couch, turned the news on as I felt the morning breeze. I’ve never trusted anything that seemed wholesome. I am convinced that there are horrors in the facade of the peace. So convinced that I manifested them myself. It’s my old friend; trust issues, back to haunt my every calculated move. I don’t trust this wholesome facade. There has to be something wrong. I don’t bode well with the southern charm, passive aggressive type. I need things to be blunt. New York City is blunt, Harlem is honest, the ally ways of Marrakesh reeked of truth, my apartment building growing up didn’t bother to cover up it’s blemishes. You knew you could be in danger. You thanked the environment for it’s fair warning. Yet, in a wholesome suburban community you are left relaxed, calm, your guard is down. You are in the perfect scenario to be utterly blind from the realities of the world and your own security. The neighbor might beat his wife, the teen-age boy potentially raped his girlfriend, the mom self-medicates, the girl masterfully manipulates and lies. Suburbia is the most dangerous place on earth. If it’s not some slow killing virus of societal standards that keep you self medicated in the facade of beauty then it’s your own mind that swallows you into madness. The dangerous luxury of suburbia is that behind the gate, the doors, the security system, the locked bedroom door and the dogs, you are safe and paralyzed in your own fear of the unknown.
I suppose the first step in slaying suburbia is to confidently walk out of your room in the dead of night, walk out of the bubble, and immerse yourself in the fear.
Here’s to going to the bathroom at 3am.