Day 06 – A song that reminds of you of somewhere:
DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – “A Nightmare on My Street”
It’s safe to say I was scared of a lot when I was a kid. Actually, I’m still kind of a chicken. At least 25% of the reason I hate it when my wife is gone overnight is due to a (irrational?) fear of monsters. But it was so much worse as a kid. I’m sure my mom feels a certain amount of bitterness that I now love horror movies and yet 20 years ago, I would refuse to go upstairs to bed alone because I saw an especially graphic Count Chocula commercial that day. True story. Actually, it probably happened more than once. Seriously, it was a problem. Like an I-saw-a-child-psychologist-about-it problem.
Freddy Kruger was the embodiment of my fears. I had never seen any of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, but I knew you were supposed to be afraid of him. Thinking back, there would probably be a great psychological rationale for my intense fear of a fictional character who I had never seen in action and really knew nothing about (I didn’t even know he haunted your dreams), but since typing his name still gives me the hint of a chill up my spine, I’m probably not ready to go there yet.
Anywho, since the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise was so popular, it was hard to avoid Freddy’s image in the 80’s. Commercials were easier to avoid since I knew the theme music by heart and would quickly change the channel, but then he would pop-up unexpectedly in sketch comedy shows or as a cardboard cut-out in the grocery store.
The worst instance was at my sister’s birthday party at a roller skating rink. They had probably just finished playing J. Giles’ “Freeze Frame” for the 5th time when they put on “A Nightmare on My Street.” Four notes into the hook of the song, I recognized it as Freddy’s theme and freaked the freak out. It had taken me completely off guard.
Part of me was thinking semi-rationally and felt completely defeated. Freddy, and all my fears, could resurface at any time. I was old enough to be embarrassed about my reactions to things that scared me, but I still couldn’t stop reacting so dramatically. Would I always burst into tears at the sight of someone with fangs (be it person, puppet, or cartoon)? Would I ever be able to fall asleep without staring at my closet door for an hour first? Couldn’t I just be bored silly at my older sister’s birthday party like a regular kid?
While one part of me was depressed about my prospects of growing up a scaredy cat, the other part of me was scared shitless. Would the combination of Freddy’s theme and a DJ Jazzy Jeff’s turntable skills somehow possess everyone in the roller rink? And will they all soon stop and stare at me with Freddy-faces? I don’t know… I DON’T KNOW!
I jumped up, half screaming, half crying, and ran for the door. I got past one set of glass doors and couldn’t go any further (I was too young to be able to leave the building by myself). For the next four minutes, the patrons of Skatetown USA were greeted by an uncontrollably sobbing six year old boy, hands plastered over his ears, repeating to himself, much like a mental patient would, “Freddy’s Song… Freddy’s Song…”