When I was ten, I lived on a military base in Alaska. Eielson AFB just south, I think of Fairbanks. We lived in a two-story house with a basement on Birch and a couple of tree named streets away was Elm. Within our basement there was an empty “playroom”, the washer and dryer, and another room for the water heater, which was cool because this room also had a small nook, formed by the gap between the basement floor and stairwell. It was in this quaint room I made out with Amy, or as we like to tease Eskimo Pie. Her face was round and eyelids casted low for squinting effect. It was borderline racist of us to call her by that name but we were young and could definitely blame tack it up to the innocence of being dumb yutes.
Amy was actually Hawaiian. Yeah, we sucked.
The pipes inside the water heater room constantly rattled and creaked and after watching A Nightmare on Elm Street, those pipes would only lend to the fright that was my fear of Freddy Kruger. Many of the dream sequences depicted in ANOES showed Freddy in a boiler room terrifying the kids of fiction Springwood, Ohio. And often times, Fred would rake his custom made claws along the pipes and produce a menacing sound of “I’m coming to get cha”. So after watching that movie, the burnt man wearing the stripped sweater resided in my basement inside a narrow heating room.
The “playroom” area of the basement was rather spacious and if given the right resources, could have been made much cooler. For rowdy kids, though, it was enough just to have the space to practice karate and almost break my neck in a failed back somersault attempt. Company was the only reason to play down in the basement. And again, it was cool before ANOES. If I ever had to go down into the basement alone…at night, there was always a looming presence of fear just flickering my panic switch on and off. During daylight hours all was well. There were only a few occasions when the basement fright would ignite the engine to flee up the stairs and out of harms way.
And fuck those stairs.
Ever peer down a stairwell into a dark room? Wow, just an amazing and simple way to produce fear in just about anyone. Why, because there was always the possibility that maybe something not right was waiting for me in the darkness. Metaphorically, that feeling of the unknown present still eats away at my courage cookies.
I take back every bit of energy I gave you. You’re nothing. You’re shit.
Freddy Kruger was for me the epitome of fear because he attacked you when you were most vulnerable. The reasons why or how Freddy became the clawed necromancer went way over my head as a child but was definitely the true horror of the story. Dreams should be a rest haven for your fears; however, some fears are inescapable and transcend into your reality. That’s when you must act. Nancy did figure out this much in the movie: face the fear. Beat it senseless until it releases the stranglehold on your dreams so that when you finally sleep, you won’t regret to never have fought.