an open letter to the monster under my bed

Written by l.a. kim
Art by cottonbro

you have been the only constant in my life, which is honestly pretty pathetic in every aspect. sorry you had to lurk under the bed because i took so much time hiding in the closet (a double entendre, fear of gods). but honestly, i have to admit, i was never afraid of you. even when i changed from girl to boy to boy to girl to neither and both and everything at once, you didn’t care. a kid is a kid is a kid to you, i guess. 

is there a quota, in your world? scare x kids y many times, get a promotion, life is good? or are you just an entity, chained under beds and like being the number one cause of bed wetting and gripes of parents everywhere? i’ll hope for your sake it’s the former. i should probably say sorry. if by any chance you were assigned to me by some higher(or in this case, lower) power, that promotion went straight out of the window. we both know i was never afraid of you, especially when i was the one who saw you first, crawling under (my? your?) space beneath the bed, begging you to make some room. in any case, you were my first roommate. 

it’s been a long time since i pushed back the dust from under my bed, since i thought of you. i guess in a way i sort of conjured you, considering you only exist to me (does this make me a god? i don’t feel like one). if anything, you should be asking me questions about yourself, perhaps if you had a mouth or were actually a sentient being and not a constellation of neurons in my brain. 

only you don’t exist until i think about you, isn’t that right? you are me but i am not you. i know this, i knew this. but it never stopped me from wishing you heard the cries above the bed (my fault for confining you under, constantly under). if only you were real. 

hey, every kid has a monster under their bed, right? and an angel and a devil on their shoulders, the weight of the world looming on the horizon. i think that as a kid, i needed a monster more than an imaginary friend, that by creating you i was creating a world so much more digestible than real life.