(The hole is on the left hand side, out of this picture. Yes....this is truly my old attic.)
We could have. When I was young, I must have complained to my parents for they had installed a crude latch in my closet that would fall over the door to keep it shut. I would make sure that latch was close before I went to bed. I would make sure all my clothes were pushed up against that door, before I went to bed. And I would make sure my closet was closed firmly shut before I went to bed. The problem is that we had cats. They loved to go exploring in there, through the tunnels under the floor and over the insulation they were too light to fall through. And when it was time for me to go to bed, sometimes they’d run and hide in there too.
Now picture this, if you please. There I was, a little girl, asleep despite my fear. Woe to me if I had forgotten to close the latch while the cats were in there.
They would slink out of the attic during the dead of night. They’d softly push the attic door open, and the sudden change in the air pressure would make the closing of the door a soft boom. I would be startled wide awake, wondering if something had just come out of the attic. The cats would start scratching on my closet door to be let out -- a soft, scratch-scratch-scratch. When the door isn’t opened for them, they would slowly push the creaky closet open. If I was brave and looked over, I’d see two lamp lit eyes, peering at me from the darkness. If I wasn’t, and I hid under the covers, they’d patter softly on the carpet and jump up onto the bed right near my head, and wait.
Eventually they’d meow or purr or I would risk a peek and see my little kitty there. But believe me when I say that this used to be a part of my childhood and I never got used to it. Thankfully it didn’t happen often as I very rarely forgot to leave the latch unlocked. If the latch was locked, and the cats were stuck in there, they’d meow and scratch the door. Now the door had foam insulation on the inside to keep cold and, incidentally, sound from seeping into my room. That foam kept the sound of their cries coming through, but not the scratch-scratch-scratch of their claws. So I would awake to hear muffled scratching in my closet, and well, I’d go get a parent to take care of that.
So, you would understand if I told you that even now I make sure the door to my now attic-free closet is closed at night. Maybe you’d also understand if I told you I have an over active imagination when it comes to scary things, and I simply don’t deal well with it.
Yep, I am a big chicken.
The most obvious example of this would be the Hollywood scary movie. I have been known to watch a scary movie, and have nightmares for weeks. I’ve been sure a hungry T-Rex would look into my bedroom window from the street, despite it have gone back to the island in Jurassic Park 2. For days I was fanatic about not letting my feet touch the ground outside, sure it would attract a creature from Tremors. And I’ve abandoned a slumber party feigning ill because they were watching 13 Ghosts.
They don’t even have to be that scary, or really of any good quality to scare me. I can’t even read it in books – I found that out after reading a bit of Cujo and stayed awake for most of the night, sure there was something in my closet. Of course this makes me feel like a wimp, and every Halloween I attempt to watch scary movies to redeem myself.
It never ends well.
So this year I have a weapon to use against all the things that go bump in the night. Or at least, the things that go bump on the TV during the month of October, Celestial Seasons Tension Tamer Tea.
Though not considered an actual tea as it is missing the plant “Camellia Sensis” I will use the term herbal tea, because that’s what is written on the box. This is also pretty much the only herbal tea I drink, and I make sure there is always a stash of it somewhere in the back of the cupboard. I am also sure it would be the only drink my cat would like to drink as catnip is an ingredient. That and Eleuthero, peppermint, cinnamon, ginger, chamomile, West Indian lemongrass, liquorice, tilia flowers and lemon flavouring. This is a drink you could, but wouldn’t want to add milk to, but sugar is okay. Honey wouldn’t be all that bad of an alternative either.
Now, I don’t know how much it actually helps calm me down, but drinking tea in itself is rather restive. Perhaps the calm is a mental thing. Anyhow, I will be drinking a lot of this tea during the slow countdown to Halloween.
You can find Tension Tamer in any grocery store all year long, or online, but you might just need it this month.
Meanwhile, do you have any horror childhood stories to share? Or maybe some calming black teas that you know about? Let me know in the comments!