4 - bulbs

A young businessman comes home to a surprise.

Returning late from a business trip and more than a little jet lagged as a result, I entered my house bleary eyed and tired. Flipping the light switch in the hall proved ineffective to my dismay. Fumbling my way to the closet with only the light from my cell phone to guide me, I searched for my box of spare light bulbs. After hastily tossing the vacuum cleaner and a few coats to the side, I found the dusty little box. Clinking as I extracted a bulb, I strained my arm towards the fixture to remove the expired bulb. Barely within the struggling reach of my fingertips, I twisted it. To my surprise, the hall was suddenly illuminated. Retracting my arm, I placed the bulb back in the box and pondered how the bulb could have loosened itself. Weighing the possibility of myself ever knowing how against the amount it really mattered, I retired the thought.

Having delt with mysteriously faulty electronics after a six hour flight and a two hour drive home, I was in a particularly foul mood. Resolving to fix myself a drink and a heavy dose of Tylenol, I shambled into the kitchen. A sickening case of déjà vu poured through my veins like black sludge as I found flipping the switch about as effective as clapping my hands and dancing around the light bulb.

My first thought was to check to see if the television was where I left it. The whole sequence of events reeked of a bizarre robbery. Sprinting through the darkness, I nearly ran straight into my TV, affirming its continued occupancy in my house. In fact, nothing had be disturbed whatsoever. This of course is aside from the minuet unscrewing of every light in the entire house. As I trudged through the procession of dim rooms, tightening each bulb, a sense of unease flooded me. In order to tighten the light my bedroom I had to fetch a screw driver at some point to open a fixture. Whoever had done this, had it been a person, put quite a bit of effort into it.

Despite the exhaustion lapping at the edges of my consciousness, a compulsion coursed through me. I couldn’t sleep until every single light in the entire house was once again functional and illuminated. Working slowly, but as steadily as I could I wandered through the remainder of the house, each time dreading leaving a lit room for the next one painted in black shadows. I passed the night in a fog of paranoia; even the fridge lights were restored. Against my better judgment I even ventured into the basement and the attic. Turning bulbs with shaky, sweaty hands until the safe dusty yellow light graced me once again, I determinedly saw my task out.

As I descended from the attic, not even bothering to brush the thick dust off of my expensive pants, the sun rose merrily in my bedroom windows. A thin smile graced my lips as I let my eyes slack and close. I lay on the cold fabric of my bed, the security of daylight the only blanket I needed.

Here is where I lay now, the old grandfather clock in the corner of my room chiming nine in the evening. The events of the previous night must have worn me down even more then I thought because I’m still so tired. My body aches, no, screams for more rest. Yet, I’m afraid to submit. Afraid I'll wake up in the dark.

do you believe in x
Friday October 3rd, 2008

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