I'm gradually learning that if I have wine in the evening, I have trouble sleeping that night. Gradual connections are being made, one night at a time. Last night I had wine, and then I lay awake. First I kept seeing shadows down the hall, made by cars driving by, and thinking they were the shadows of people creeping around in the house. Then, when I'd reminded myself that a cat can't walk across our floors without making a creak with every step, I started thinking I heard Furtive Sounds, perhaps PEOPLE TRYING TO BREAK IN. That went NOWHERE GOOD, let me tell you. At one point I realized that my entire body was tense, including clenched fists, and that I'd spent the last five minutes or so imagining defending myself against intruders with a floor lamp: I could bash them with it for awhile, and there would be pointy glass when the bulbs broke, and if I got the upper hand I could use the cord to strangle them. I'd gone on to imagine that they'd lost consciousness--OR SEEMED TO--and what would I do to make SURE they were either dead or incapacitated until the police could get here? If I have learned one thing from movies, it's that you don't get overconfident that a Downed Attacker is actually down. So would I do something that would stain both my hardwood floors and potentially my conscience (though I think it's highly unlikely I'd struggle with my conscience if it was an intruder in a house with my children)? and what would I use to do it? and would it be easy (because I'd be so scared) or would it be much harder than I expected it to be? and boy, I wish there was such a thing as a gun that would materialize only when needed. Or would I...somehow tie his hands and feet (with what? and I couldn't really leave him to go root around in the dark basement for some rope) and then call 911?
This was when I noticed every single muscle was tightened up and my fingernails were hurting my palms. And also realized that the floor lamp I'd been envisioning grabbing with one swift smooth action-hero-like motion (ha ha, now I'm picturing James Bond wielding an attractive floor lamp) is one we Freecycled a few months back because we never used it. And the other floor lamp in the room is plugged in behind the bureau, so I'd have to shift the bureau, then lean as far as I could and make sound-wave shapes with the cord until the plug wiggled out of the socket, etc.
So I tried to think of something more relaxing, but instead my mind drifted to something that had been bugging me earlier in the day, which was the word "jailbait." I hadn't given the word much thought over the years, since I don't move in circles that have a use for such a word. I started out feeling that the word was mildly icky and wrong, and by the time I'd thought the thing out thoroughly, I was ready to go back and EAGERLY take out some feelings on that imaginary intruder, perhaps by lifting the entire bureau and slamming it onto him. I wish we didn't even HAVE that word. It isn't that I don't UNDERSTAND why we have the word; OH I UNDERSTAND WHY WE HAVE IT. That is the PROBLEM: that I think I see exactly why we have that word, instead of just having the word "teenager." "Bait" implies a trap, a set-up. Men are being LURED by this child, TRICKED into a TRAP by...the child? society? And so they resist the child, NOT because it would be wrong to get involved with a child, NOT because they are personally icked out by the idea, NOT because they are horrified at the thought of accidentally getting involved with someone so young---but because of the potential for jail, and because they are too wily and clever to be trapped. Jailbait. And congratulating themselves. I hate everybody. Please turn me loose on a building scheduled for demolition, so I can gnaw on it until I feel better.