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Comfort in the creepy

By   /   September 17, 2012  /   Comments Off

By Brett Buckner

Special to the journal


I find comfort in the creepy. That’s why I just love having Leatherface leering over my keyboard as I compose nonsensical sentences in my new career as a technical communicator.

Leatherface is not alone. The madman from Texas Chainsaw Massacre is in fitting company, offering dark inspiration alongside slasher-movie kingpins Freddy and Jason. And if that weren’t enough, the members of KISS have got my back … literally … resting on a nearby shelf over my left shoulder. Joey Ramone’s there too, as is the ghoulish mascot from the seminal ‘80s punk band, The Misfits.

They are my bobbleheads, bouncing and wobbling in time to my constant fidgeting as I adjust to life in a cubicle.

While I often feel like a puma in a cage, these macabre decorations – along with a murder’s row of skulls peering out from every nook and cranny that are mingled in amongst candid shots of my beautiful family – help to make my cramped space feel more like a home … fitting as they all came from my actual home.

Sadly this transplant was done on a whim. Rather, if you were to ask a certain blonde woman with whom I share a wedding anniversary, it was a long time coming. It would seem that said blonde woman has been conspiring to cleanse our humble abode of the relics which, in her words, are a reflection of my “obsession with faces.”

It’s true. I do like faces – scary, menacing, generally painted or otherwise contorted faces. And taken as a whole, these things can be, somewhat overwhelming. Such is the reason our old Bug Man as well as the occasional door-to-door Jehovah’s Witness have fled my office like the Lutz family in the Amityville Horror.

Yep … it was pretty cool.

But my office as it once was is no more. My Lovely Wife needed some space … so she took mine. And I can’t blame her.

For the entirety of our marriage, she’s never really had a hideaway, a personal space from which she can escape all the stresses of life, work, family and loving a man who oozes awesome (which is actually harder that you might thing). What she needed was a “Calgon, take me away” area – minus the bubbles, wetness and the constant pounding on the door by Jellybean who never has to go tee-tee until the bathroom is otherwise occupied.

And thus, I relinquished my former man cave …sorta. I mean, I’ve still got a bunch of books and there’s the stuffed piranha, and the KISS lunchbox and a couple of gargoyles on high shelves that My Lovely Wife can’t reach, but I’ve removed most traces of me.

My framed Halloween movie poster, along with a framed Escher drawing of a giant eyeball with a skull in the pupil, has been banished to the garage. Initially, I worried what the neighbors might thing about all the creepiness, but then they put out a life-sized cutout of Nick Saban and I realized that obviously they had bad taste issues of their own.

Most everything that was tote-able and unlikely to frighten my cubby mates has made its way to my cubicle, where everybody thinks twice before interrupting my stunning lack of productivity. And who could blame them; would you disturb someone with a fetish for murderous bobbleheads?

Meanwhile, My Lovely Wife has a sanctuary all her own – complete with family photos, plants, a rocking chair and colorful throw blanket.

Now the only face she has to look at is mine … talk about awesome.

Brett Buckner is an award-winning freelance newspaper/magazine writer who was raised in Albany.


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