It lives in the cupboard. The one underneath the stairs. I’ve seen it in there; it’s on the wall. It hides, but I’ve seen it. I watch. You need to be prepared because you can never predict when it will come out. That’s what I find most unsettling; the unpredictability. There’s no structure to its routine. No pattern.
But what I have noticed is that it never comes out alone. A human lets it out. Welcomes it out. Relies on it.
This uncompromising, deafening fiend sucks up everything in the room. It obtrusively betrays any space I occupy, stealing precious objects I have lovingly collected. Trying to protect them is futile. I stand no chance against this monster.
At first, I was petrified. I’m ashamed to say I ran and hid behind anything I could. Giant plants. Pillar candles in the fire place. Under tables and furniture. Behind the couch. No space was too small for me to squeeze into, to shield me from this beast.
In time, I found my bark. And with this, the courage I needed to finally shout What are you?, Go away!, Leave me alone! But it’s roaring head still swerved and jerked toward me. Back and forth, relentlessly. My barking didn’t deter it, there was nothing I could say. I felt powerless.
The greatest betrayal was not the monster’s aggressiveness, booming howl or even his obstinate ambition to steal every leaf, petal or piece of debris I cherish; it’s that the humans seem to encourage him. They work together, a choreographed dance back and forward, as if to confuse me from their real design; steal from Jerry. Sometimes, the humans even lock me out of the room. And lately, they’ve reprimanded me for yelling. Me! The only one with any integrity! I am the one who is against pilfering, intruding and downright disrespect.
The monster has a friend. A quiet one. With a curious head of hair; short, strong and straw like. They all work together, trying to trick me. The humans sometimes bring this strange creature out silently and drag is head along the ground, collecting things around me. I used to try to bite this one, pull his hair out. Give him some of the pain I have felt.
But I found better revenge. I know how to wait. One day I left a smelly message outside, partly obscured by a leaf. Let’s just say, I haven’t had trouble with that bristled head any more.