There is a monster dozing under my bed. He’s big, furry, and a little bit squishy. I first noticed him about a year and a half ago, snoring lightly when I was trying to sleep in on the weekends; not every weekend, just those when I didn’t have much going on.
So I started sleeping with earplugs.
It wasn’t long before I was tripping over his enormous claws, which were sticking out from under the bedskirt when I woke up. So I set my alarm to go off earlier and tried to sneak out before he had stretched his limbs too far.
He started stretching before the sun rose.
Eventually he crawled out from under the bed and began following me around. He’d lean over my shoulder and breathe down my neck while I made my morning coffee, or wait patiently on the toilet flipping through an Alert Diver magazine until I finished my shower.
I briefly considered giving up coffee and bathing. Briefly.
In the end he was hiding himself in my trunk, hitching a ride with me to work. He would wait until I went out for lunch and scurry through the halls to my office where he would stuff himself into the coat closet. When I got back to my desk I knew he was there–he always managed to shut his fur in the door–but I pretended I didn’t.
Ignoring him isn’t working. He’s sitting on my chest right now, tapping the side of my head with the chewed-end of his curved claw. I think he’s trying to tell me something.
I tried locking him out, locking him in, tying him down, tying him up. I tried secular meditation and spiritual exorcism, I took advice from friends and advice from enemies. I woke up in the middle of the night and shook the bed yelling ‘KOOK-A-LEE-KOO!” to scare him away, but nothing seemed to work.
And then I started telling him a story.
His eyes went misty and a purple tear rolled down his furry cheek. When I had finished he walked over to me and planted a furry kiss on the top of my head. I didn’t see him for the rest of the week.
So here I am, exorcising him the only way I know how. With words.
In a way I suppose I’m glad that he hasn’t given up on me, even if he is a royal pain, I know he’s only trying to help. And I never want to exorcise him until he’s gone, just until he’s tired enough to crawl back under the bed for a little nap.