I LOVE little kids. They combine my two favorite things: small things, and seemingly drunk things. I honestly just love watching those little psychos toddling around babbling and shitting their pants. I guess maybe it’s because I see so much of myself in them. I don’t have any kids, but sometimes I fantasize about having a brief but passionate dalliance with a turkey baster and squirting out one or two of my own little drunkards. I think I’d be a GREAT parent, I take care of my friend’s kids all the time and I am GREAT at it. Ask anyone, anyone will tell you I’m a GREAT caretaker. My best friend has a 4-year old daughter named Jael, she and I are very close, so close in fact that she calls me Auntie Nah. Nobody knows where she came up with that, but I suspect it’s because she can ignore my authority by telling herself “Nah you’re not my Mom”, hence Auntie Nah. The other night I was babysitting for Jael. I had put her to bed and was busying myself eating and drinking everything in her parents house, when I suddenly heard Jeal yelling from her bedroom. I ran into her room to find her looking terrified, yelling “There’s a monster under my bed, there’s a monster under my bed!” So of course, being the natural born caretaker that I am, I took her in my arms, and I held her close, and I smoothed her hair and I said gently “Don’t worry honey, there are no monsters under your bed. I promise. That’s not where the monsters live. You can take it from me.” and Jael looked up at me with her big trusting drunk eyes, and she said ‘But where do the monsters live, Auntie Nah?” and I replied “Well, honey, the REAL monsters live out there in the world. They’re everywhere, all around you. They’re your school bus driver, they’re your priest, they’re your rabbi, they’re the stars of your favorite television show, they’re your entitled prom date, they’re your presidential candidate. And you will never know who the monsters are, because they look just like you and me. You know what? You might even be a monster. Your old Auntie Nah is definitely a monster. So don’t worry honey, you don’t have to worry about any monsters living under your bed. That’s fucking stupid. The real monsters live in the real world, and they’re everywhere, and it’s only a matter of time before you meet them, because life is all about trying to live among monsters and not become one yourself. And that is what you should really be afraid of.”
Jael hasn’t spoken since that day, but I could tell from her eyes that I made her feel much much better.