It was dark, significantly before sunrise, even way before first light, when i went out this morning. Clouds had claimed the sky. It would have been a perfect night for striped bass fishing back on Center Hill Lake. The shad minnows were more attracted to the Coleman lanterns hanging off the gunwale of the boat in the dark with no moon and stars to lighten the sky. And where the shad minnows moved, so did the striped bass.

It is Tuesday. That’s trash day around here. i went out to the side yard next to the garage, opened the gate, and began moving the three bins to the street. Around here, you have a bin for yard waste, one for recycled things, and one for trash. i don’t do inane arguing about global warning. To me, it makes no difference if it is or isn’t happening. Recycling, reusing yard waste for mulch and other purposes, and reducing our trash output is good for our environment regardless of who wins the inane argument.

i line two bins up by the open garage door and take the yard waste bin to the street. i cross the street to the widow’s side yard and move her bins to the street before filling my other two bins and repeating the process at our house. You see, some guy began moving a next-door neighbor’s bins out to the street after she got a divorce. Now, it is almost a race for neighbors to move other neighbor’s bins out or back in after pickup in the houses near the end of the cul-de-sac.

This morning, as i moved the first of my bins to the front, i remembered moving trash cans before they had bins in another place in another time in a world far away.

This was after my hometown public works took Jake Hughes means of income away by buying the new trucks and providing trash services, garbage only, to the citizens. Jake stopped coming to our house in his mule drawn wagon with four car wheels to go to the back of our garage. That garage was on one side of the back yard, not in the front for most homes today. The back is where i prefer garages for reasons i may someday reveal. Jake would take our garbage can to the street, dump the contents into his wagon bed, return the can to the back of the garage, and leave with our garbage.

After that, a household member had to take the garbage to the front, which normally was the oldest male child, a.k.a. me. My new requirement of garbage dumping coincided with my going to a movie showing downtown in 1957. The movie starred Michael Landon way before he was “Little Joe Cartrwight” in “Bonanza.” The event was on a summer Monday night, two days for garbage pickup, i think. It certainly wasn’t on Saturday because those afternoons still were reserved for Westerns.

The movie was “I Was a Teenage Werewolf.” For those of you who might be too young to remember, that movie was not a prequel of “Teen Wolf,” the comedy another Michael named Fox made in 1985. That was a comedy. “I Was a Teenage Werewolf” might have been silly by today’s standards, but it was a horror movie for that day and time. That night, i had nightmares about the movie.

Now all of this may seem unrelated, but the next evening after sunset, it was time for me to take out the garbage. Opening the back door of our house, i found a full moon lighting the dark.

i paused at the door. i was afraid, very afraid, there could be a werewolf lurking behind the garage, waiting to kill me with those terrible fangs. i realized such fear was self-inflicted, cursed my nightmare, and walked to the back of the garage. i admit the fear did not go away until i had deposited the garbage can by the street and returned inside.

Here, i was to make some philosophical comments about fear and hate and all sorts of stuff. But i will let it ride.

But this morning, i was never afraid…

…after all, it was cloudy and the full moon is in its waxing crescent phase, nowhere near a full moon.

2 thoughts on “Dark

  1. I to was on garbage duty even though i was not the oldest. Just unlucky. I was not afraid of Werewolves however, my fear was vampires. Bela Lugosi was and still is imbedded in my mind. It’s kind of biblical the dead being undead. Anyway Vampires are my Achilles Heel. There didn’t have to be a full moon either.

  2. I fully relate to the fear you describe so well in your delightful reminiscence of that moonlit night in 1957. Many of us have felt it at one or another time in our lives I think – probably the reason for our fascination with horror stories. I also felt the same irrational fear on occasion as a youngster in Mt Holly, Arkansas, especially after a session of hearing “ghost stories” around a campfire at night. Coleridge wrote, “…like one that on a lonesome road doth walk in fear and dread, and having once turned round, walks on and turns no more his head, because he knows a frightful fiend doth close behind him tread.” And from Santana’s Supernatural: “All you children, turn your light on…There’s a monster Under my bed”

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