Monday, August 11, 2008

Continuation of Child Phobias

Continuation of Child Phobias: noun. Childhood fears that carryover into adulthood.

Once upon a time, I worked in a library. It was a relatively small, two story plus attic stone building, built in 1890 and originally used as a bank. It was a lovely building, but certain things about it made it a little creepy. The stacks, close together, made it hard to see much past the area you were in. The second story and the basement were even more eerie.

This place only frightened me when I was there alone, which was a few hours on Saturday mornings when I opened. On one such day, I heard footsteps on the basement stairs. This wasn't a case of just thinking that I might have heard something, but I definitely knew I heard footsteps. I remember I was standing close by the basement door, but as to whether I went towards the noise (which is very unlike me) or I just happened to be there, I don't remember. Either way, I stared at the basement door as it opened and out stepped...Vince, the elderly and kind volunteer who, unbeknownst to me, had arrived before me and been doing work in the basement. If I hadn't given in to my fears, I may have figured that out, or at least had enough sense to leave the building when I realized I was not alone.

Aren't our lives filled with such stories? My grandmother tells a story from her childhood of what sounded like a tin can rolling down the stairs that led from her bedroom to the attic, but the source of the noise was never found. Not to be outdone, my grandfather told a story from his own childhood, saying that one night they saw a white sheet moving back and forth between the trees, which turned out to be a neighbor's cow.

1 comment:

Brenda said...

Hearing footsteps like that would freak me out too...

That's how my caterpillar phobia started. As a child I grabbed what I thought was a stick and it ended up being a caterpillar. It wrapped around my finger and bit me! Yuck I hate those stupid caterpillars :)