While unpacking a box of books the other day, I came across a few notebooks of poetry and stories that I wrote when I was in middle and high school. It was fun reading through my old words and remembering the days when they were written. However, I realized that if anyone else read some of these things, they might be concerned for my state of mind back then. Oh, of course there were teen angst musings about unrequited love and how no one understood what I was going through – you know, the typical woe is me type stuff. But, there were also bunches of poems about darkness, night, corruption and monsters. I wrote stories about vampires with detailed descriptions of their feasts on the living. One poem was about the devil and how he would come for us all. Many of these writings have never been read by anyone but me. Good thing too, cause they may start hiding their knives whenever I come over. Others probably wouldn’t understand where all my black thoughts were coming from.
I wasn’t a depressed child, really. My default setting then, as now, is happy. Of course, I had my down days, but they weren’t the norm. I had posters of puppies and ponies and my bed linens were covered in flowers. I had a freakin’ rainbow painted on my wall. I did go through a phase where I wore black a lot, but I didn’t go full out goth with black eyeliner and lipstick, too. When I think about it, there wasn’t any real pre-meditation to the black clothing. I just liked it. And, having the stout, farm-girl physique that I do, black still is my friend. I wrote my vampire stories and death poems on my flowered sheets for one simple reason: I have a dark side. I love horror movies, true-crime stories about serial killers and Halloween. In middle school I started reading Stephen King novels and watched Salem’s Lot on TV while I was home alone. In high school I continued to read King, along with Clive Barker, Dean Koontz and Anne Rice. I wrote my senior political science paper on the Charles Manson murders because I was already reading “Helter Skelter” by Vincent Bugliosi for fun. I think I was a vampire for Halloween three years in a row. I developed a morbid, sometimes sick, sense of humor. However, a lot of people who signed my high school yearbook wrote that I was a funny, free-spirit who always made them laugh.
And today, I’m still a happy, fun-loving gal who loves a good scare. I also love watching good comedies and laughing until my sides hurt. I may make a joke about biting a kitten’s head off, but I wouldn’t do it to save my life. I love kittens. I think that embracing my dark, blood-soaked side and my soft, kitten loving side makes me a whole person. I wouldn’t be me without one or the other.