It is not so much that I couldn't hold onto these things you've given me, despite a suspiciously slippery surface and the nature of living things, the need to always run. There are such sharp, small things that slip into me some days, filling and pushing my skull outwards and yes, like a hard ruined sponge. In a dangerously undersized container. They are only small until they make it into flesh'y brain tissue. And then, they are bigger than the universe, and I am afraid.

A little monster curled up beneath the bed and ate the things one might find near the concealing low edges of the blanket that drag along the floor in the night. Shoes. Socks. Unsent letters and, dust. Tiny and green and alive, so much more real than the things we are all presented with day to day that he had always been nearly invisible. As a child I'd often jumped away from the edge of the bed in the morning's because then, before I'd really left the house, save a few visits to a local concrete-encased slab of misplaced forest, I was quite sure I'd seen her, or him (I was never really convinced of a specific gender). At least once. Probably twice. Unlike other children I'd heard talking about similar creatures, I wasn't afraid. I was a very logical child.

The monster lived under the bed. Being that I'd never once seen it venture forth from its dark, curious choice of residence, it seemed obvious to me what the others, who went as far as refusing to sleep in their rooms some nights, were missing. Simply avoid a one foot radius around the bed itself, and one might never have to worry about a lost toe, or the chaotic spew of blood from a severed leg. And besides, I'd had no evidence to suggest the monster even craved the taste of human flesh. At an early age I'd put together a few facts and decided that so long as I ate my broccoli every day (I'd ask for it days mother decided on some other putrid green), there was absolutely no way the monster would be interested in so much as a second toe, were he to somehow get ahold of the first.

And they'd made remarkable progress in the appendage reattachment field, even then, I was confident a slightly mauled broccoli infused toe would be easy enough to sew back on.

Somehow, with this unknown possibly horrendously evil creature residing under my sleeping body most every night, I was not afraid. And there was a man in the next room, strong and invincible and I knew he would always stand between me and the things that hurt. The little monsters, or, people, which I will admit have always frightened me beyond words.

This, though, there is no logic inside or surrounding this. I realized some time ago, as most little girls eventually do, that the man in the other room is no stronger than any of us. That despite how much he might want to, how much he might love to stop the things that slide into my head and try to explode my brain contents across the earth, I am left to figure this one out on my own. To find, somewhere along the line, I became the one wishing that I could protect him. Anyone.

So, I try. And I think of the little monster and how strong and brave I can be. I hold you, and I hold these slippery things, and I tell you that I am ready. And I hope that you understand when I never like the blanket to touch the floor for very long. When I have to try so hard just to sit still. We are never alone.

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