I’ve been out of sorts the last few days. The shock to my nervous system from finishing the revisions “shocked the monkey”, and I found myself entering near dementia with all the psychic ripples in my “Motorhead” pond. My personal hygiene took a nosedive, and while I managed to maintain the outward operations of business-as-usual, inside I felt as if my efforts had stirred up a lot of detritus from the depths of my own personal Mud Lake.

These kinds of stunned doldrum episodes can last for days, with all manner of images, memories and ideas coming to the surface. This time, I was ready with my glass-bottomed boat to catch a glimpse of whatever mudgulpers might wade past. Oh, wow, the things that I caught a glimpse of, I’m going to need an additional vacation to meditate on. The Icky Girl Power really made an impact on me. Which is okay, because I was voluntarily leading with my jaw this time. But crumbs, I really got it handed to me this time, and the tussle ain’t over yet! Thank goodness I got more skills and tools this time around.

One of this things that came to the surface was my old childhood fascination with the old television series In Search Of…, and some of the subject matter from that show. In case you never saw it, Leonard Nimoy (yes, Mr. Spock) hosted a half hour show program in which an attempt was made to explain some “mystery” from a list of “extraterrestrials”, “magic and witchcraft”, “missing persons”, “myths and monsters”, “lost civilizations” and “strange phenomena”. Leonard Nimoy would narrate as evidence was put forward, scenes were re-enacted, and highly dubious explanations were put forward. All of this was accompanied by a synthesizer soundtrack that can only be called “eerie”, “otherworldly”, and “scary as all hell”.

My memories from that time are a little dim, but I couldn’t get the soundtrack out of my mind, nor could I get over the episode about Bigfoot, which frightened the poop out of me as a youngster. Fears that Bigfoot would break into my house and attack stem from various sources during the seventies, but this program did nothing to help with that, and I would be very afraid at night, staying up late with the light on and wondering what I could do to protect myself.

So I hit the old Youtube pool and found a host of episodes from the show, including the Bigfoot episode. Many of the episodes I remember seeing. Crumbs, I’d forgotten how much I used to be a regular watcher. The music was even creepier than I remember, and even in the safety of my own home, I felt the clutch of fear from childhood return. Every unknown noise freaked my scene out! The music from the UFO episode caught a hold of my brainstem and started to replay in my head even after I’d stopped watching.

Then I found the scariest episode of all for me. The one about the Amityville Horror. That episode scared me so bad I had to sleep with the covers on and with a flashlight in my hand back then. There’s this scene where a doll’s eyes open and turn red with a satanic glow, and that scene gave me many sleepless nights. Actually watching the episode, with the spooky red room, the story behind the doll (an evil monster imaginary friend that would mess a kid up for life), and the scene with the girl singing “silent night” on and off as she went in and out of a room, well all that stuff brought back so many memories in a flood that I had trouble sleeping for several days.

At night, I tossed and turned so much K sent me to the couch downstairs. And even with three dedicated cat protectors, they all fled upstairs and left me alone to freak out about Bigfoot, UFOs, the voices of plants, Dracula, and of course the scary doll creature from the Amityville Horror. It didn’t help that I had to go into the basement to use the Jakes at night, to avoid waking up K (her own work situation has taken a rather weird turn, so she needed the sleep). I heard phantom cats using the catbox in the basement, I felt cold chills from sixth sense spooks, and images of horror flashed before my eyes before I could flip light switches on.

And meanwhile, my old fears of Icky Girl Power came back to me as well. Blob capable of coming through the sink as I wash my hands sends thrills down my spine. Green slime from the UFOs with Leonard Nimoy narration as spooky music plays in my head over and over. This goes on for two nights. I’m scared out of my wits with childhood memories and present day fright seizing a hold of me so bad I’m afraid to close my eyes and get off the couch. So I go back and watch the episodes again, and I wonder why on earth these things aren’t on DVD, because its a fabulous show.

I mentioned skills and tools. Well, I’m not a kid anymore, at the complete and total mercy of the unknown, although I’m not immune to it. Maybe the only difference is that I know how much I stink, both in terms of hygiene and ability to cope. I refuse to let the spectres of fear dancing on my head completely have their way. I engage them in dialogue, I demand they explain themselves. I interact with Bigfoot, I chase off the UFOs, yelling at them “HEY! YOU FORGOT YOUR BUTT PROBE!” like a stupid fool. I confront the scary red eyed doll as big as I am trying to choke the life out of me and I say “That all you got?” I can’t explain the impossible conflict between my pathetic little life and the vast unknown, because it makes no sense and there’s no solution.

Except that things start to happen. You can’t reach into the deep slime and not be affected, but neither can the unknown. The night terrors don’t fade when the sun comes up, nor does the immediacy of their demands, but then the music I’ve been listening to lately starts playing in my head. All the CDs I got for Xmas, The Verve, The Ocean Blue, and my new obsession, Neko Case, who has been a phenomenal find for me. It’s as if something else wells up inside of me and gives me a break. I step back and I get my head back on straight. My fears take on different shapes and forms, and I realize things are trying to talk to me and tell me important information. I’m not safe, but I’m not completely vulnerable either, and I write down stuff.

The psychic wave passes, and I start getting a hold of things again. I know I’m going to have to dive again into the waves, but its okay, there’s all sorts of scary, interesting, and lively material for me to tackle when I’m ready. I clean up my act, shave and shower, brush my teeth, all that good stuff, and I feel a little human again. I don’t smell so bad, nor does my breath make me want to gag anymore. Important stuff is happening. There are ghosts in my house, and I’m doing my best to relate to them. I didn’t even know how scared I was of Icky Girl Power until I went in search of it. I don’t know if I can come up with some of the outrageous explanations Leonard Nimoy posits in the show (some of them are really WTF moments of logical deduction), but when it comes to the irrational and the subjective, perhaps the way out really is in.

Some things are better left unknown. If you swim in the dark lake at night, you have to be ready to scrape your feet on the slimy skin of the creatures that might be resting on the lakebed. Maybe our explanations for the unknown are no better than the ridiculous assertions of the show. And sometimes you catch a glimpse of something wonderful, or you feel something slither under your feet as you tread water, and you get to tell a tale gathered around the warmth of a fire in the dead of winter.

Last night, the mysterious unknown did its thing, while I had a good night’s sleep.