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  • Writer's pictureClinton

A Recurrence of Fear

Comforting warmth envelops me. Images of day fading. My mind slowing. I begin to drift. The warmth is growing. I feel greater peace. Thoughts blur toward dreams. I’m almost there. A channel of hope opens. I begin to trust. Relief….

Outside of the warmth, a sound! Measurable decibels uncertain. Yet within me, the sound explodes. My mind is racing backward, forgetting the onset of dreams. My heart is pounding now. Muscles tighten as a current of adrenaline shoots through my body. My hands are clenched into fists. Back and torso thrust me into an upright position. I’m ready to fight! I’m ready to defend! Without my glasses, my extremely blurred vision heightens any audible cues. Turning abruptly side to side, my left hand scrambling to find my glasses. I put them on. I see no immediate threat. I hear the wind, a car passing on our rural road, a slushy winter night.

I seek any further auditory insight into what I heard. I am now out of bed. I move quietly from the bedroom. Hands still clenched, sweat is now forming beads, falling from forehead, downward into my eyes. Stinging. My eyes & ears, my entire being is on high alert. Hands beginning to ache, my fists, so tightly they are clenched. I gaze upon the blue green light; the alarm is set. Sensors remain untriggered. I turn on the porch light without opening my hand. My eyes settle on the locks. They are both secure.

I pause. The kitchen, always partially lit. The porch light cascading into the backyard. The outer screen door is partially open. My body again tightens. I’m readying to fight! From deep within, questions begin to arise. Was this the sound? Was someone opening the door? Where are they?

The wind blows as clumps of snow fall from the trees and the screen door moves slowly with a drawn out creak. With apprehension, I take an intentional breath. I begin to allow my fists to loosen. I can feel blood beginning to flow back into them.

Do I dare relax? Do I dare open up my posture? Was it a screen door caught by a strong winter gust? Now exhausted, is it worth trying again? Will I ever again trust the warmth and comfort of my own bed?

I once again inhale deeply. With a slow breath, I draw in that which is good. I exhale, blowing forth as much of the tainted as possible. I slowly turn towards the bedroom, while my eyes make a final survey of the door. The porch light still piercing into the darkness.

One more breath.

Hope of thoughts blurring into dreams.

That is what I seek.

I struggle to trust.

Will I ever find relief?

- Clinton Randall, (03/11/2023)


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