The Monster Under The Bed Ch. 03byAzPilot©
It seems that Hank, the closet monster, got mad because his story wasn't told, so here it is. You'd best read the first story and chapter 2 in order to truly understand, if possible, what was going on in my home. In my advancing senility, I sometimes lose track, too.
In all my happy feelings about the future of the rest of my life, it seems that I had rather ignored another significant member of my household. I'm guilty, your honor, of gross abuse of the friendship of another household member. Yes, member, as he was more than a resident. Hank has the status of family member somewhere between cousin and brother. How that happened is another story. We kinda, sorta inherited him. He came with the house.
You see, Hank is a closet monster; sometimes the bane of children and some adults. Yes, adults, too. I learned from close association, that they are not limited to any age of the person they scare, as are the under-the-bed- monsters. They tend to be grumpier, too. Of course, I had known that for many years and had attributed that to the fact that their close association with wire coat hangers caused it.
After I got to know Hank, I found out that I was mistaken. That was surprising. Not that I was wrong, because with a wife and three daughters I became accustomed to not being correct, A LOT. If you're an old married man and a father, you instantly know what I'm talking about. What had surprised me was the fact that closet monsters tangled up the coat hangers as amusement. That was their play.
I had noticed, in some peoples closets, tangles and webs of hangers that were on the order of the Gordian Knot; puzzles that were all but unsolvable unless one knew what, or where the key piece was to unlock the mess. After a long discussion with Hank, one day, I had learned that each closet monster had his own pattern (really it's, as they have no discernable sex, as male and female), that once developed, was registered with their council headquarters to prevent duplication.
No wonder some friends of mine have had to resort to wire cutters in order to straighten out their closet. I had never known these things before. If you remember, I said a while back, that for some reason, I had never had a closet monster. At least until we had purchased this house some years ago.
The house was about two years old when we bought it and we moved in with four of our six kids. The two older boys stayed in the state we had moved from. Other than being painted a bilious green, inside and out, it suited us fine. Then I found out that we had also gained a closet monster. Just one, even though we had five closets total. This was new to me, so I didn't question the "shortage", so's to speak. What did I know. The whole thing, of course, went over my wife's head as she was Irish and didn't know monsters. Under-the-bed, or closet. Pixies, she knew. Leprechauns, she knew; monsters, she didn't.
Anyway, as you know, I was sensitive to monsters and could communicate with them. Certainly, growing up with a under-the-bed monster as my best/only friend made me respect them and be aware of them more than most folks. Of course, when growing up, as I said, I wasn't issued a closet monster of my own so I only had fleeting knowledge of them until we moved into this house. That's when I bumped into Hank, one day. Well, you don't really bump into them as they are very wispy. Unsubstantial is a word that jumps to the front of my mind, and you really get a jar when a word that big jumps in your mind. I digress, but that goes with old age.
I sensed Hank browsing through our master bedroom closet. He was not in a good mood as he looked over our motley collection of hangers; plastic, some wood and various types of wire hangers. I told you before that they tended to be grumpy, didn't I? He'd worked himself up into a medium sized snit by the time I found him. I think I surprised the heck out of him when he found that I could communicate with him. Wow! That shook him. We were going out someplace, so I didn't really have time to talk right then, but I let him know that it was my closet and I would be back.
By the time we all returned to the house that evening, I found that all the hangers in four closets were arranged neatly as to size and type. To this day, the hangers in the clothes closet by the front door are always tangled, but I can live with that. I've noticed that most everyone's front closet has tangled hangers. Over time, we- he and I, came to an agreement. He was welcome to be part of the family if he wished. Remembering my association with Jake, my under-the-bed monster, I felt that Hank could really be a help with our family.
Those of you with kids know that some, if not all, are slobs and some are neatniks. As a boy, I had enlisted Jake into picking up my room and making my bed. I hoped that I could persuade Hank, as I called him, into helping to keep the kids closets neat. I'll admit, it took a while to con, er, persuade him into doing this, but I'll tell you, it sure made my wife happy when she saw the results. The kids were happier, too, as she didn't harp at them anymore to "pick up your closet"
The kids never had an affinity for him but did realize that there were subtle things going on in the house. As I mentioned before, one daughter sleep walked when she was young and in her wanderings, would often end up in her closet, sound asleep on a pile of clothes. Hank liked that and encouraged it. He kept her pile of dirty clothes fluffed up so they would cushion her nicely. After the kids grew up and left home, Hank had little to do.
Things were quiet until I became a widower and a gloom settled over the house. As I related before, it was a year of loneliness. Then Jake, my old monster under-the-bed showed up to keep me company. Even though they were different, the two societies had had a very long association with each other so tended to be friendly. Jake and Hank got along very well and kept me in the loop also. It became interesting to have someone to talk with each day and the stories were certainly different. Sometimes, they were funny, other times they were strange, but they have never yet been boring. Life has been strange, but it's sure been good as I look forward to a little more of it.