The Monster Under Your Bed Doesn’t Care About Facts

Daughter can’t get to sleep at night these days. She’s forever getting drinks of water and finding reasons to leave her room and come into her parents’. She’s scared. There’s something under her bed or in her closet, she just knows it.

“I put the bed together,” I say. “I know there’s nothing under there. It’s not big enough.”

“Yes it is.”

“Do you want me to check?”


The same prohibition applies to the closet. I can’t check. I can’t turn the closet light on and open the door. And so she lays awake as long as possible, doing everything she can think of to not be in her room. This is a problem with an immunity to facts.

The monster under your bed, the monster beyond your border, the monster lurking in the public restroom: it can’t be vanquished with evidence and empirical data. It lives in our gut, not in our mind. The only thing that kills it is maturation.