"Why do you sleep with your ears covered at night?"
"I do not. I don't know what you are talking about."
The first stage of any obsession is denial. Hence my reaction when I was asked why I sleep with my ears covered at night. To preface this story, I should let you know that truth be told, I'm a huge baby; I'm talking extreme. While I was still home, I popped some bread in the toaster and proceeded to make coffee until the toaster went off about a minute later, sending me into a panic attack due to bread springing out of the appliance. Talk about embarrassing. Other embarrassing events also go hand in hand with me crying in public over "Quarantine", pacing the cinema floor, and having to sleep in my mother's bed that night (I was 17, legally a child, ok people, so it's really not that bad). Perhaps that is why I deny the fact that I sleep with my ears covered at night. One of my friend's mother's told me that she can't sleep at night if she doesn't cover her feet; this seems semi-normal. I mean, I'm sure her feet would get cold. I sleep with my feet covered, too, perhaps more for the reason I'm scared the monster living under my bed is going to chop them off in the middle of the night (coming back to school and sleeping on the top bunk is really a blessing). Plain and simple: I just don't do scary well. And what you think is scary would hospitalize me, guaranteed. My limit is crossed when they do that thing in the movies, you know that thing with the mirrors: the guy will be shaving in the bathroom and he'll open the medicine cabinet, but when he closes it, there is something freaky as hell in background with an axe/knife/gun/candlestick waiting to snuff him. Yeah... I'm in stomach turning, panic mode by that point.
But back to the main feature: sleeping with the blankets pulled up to my ears. I honestly don't remember what age I was when I started this odd habit, but I was young. English has always been my thing, so when I was in second grade, I had the reading level of approximately a sixth grader. Of course this had many positives: easy school work for a few years. Not many people would guess this had a downside: the reading of books that would scare the shit out of me. Let me tell you, some of those books that are even meant for sixth graders would have terrified me in tenth grade, let alone being a second or third grader reading them.
When I was in second grade, my teacher asked us to come to school dressed as what we wanted to be when we grew up. So the next day, in walks Dan dressed as a car mechanic, Amanda walks in dressed like a nurse, you know, the staples. And then I walk in as Steve Irwin. Yes, I wanted to be a zookeeper. I love animals like tigers and zebras, so why the hell not. (Funny how things change). With my obsession with "aminals" as I called them when I was a tiny tot, it is no wonder that I would pick up a book called "Animorphs" one day in the library. I thought to myself in my tiny brain, "Wow! A book that is about turning into an animal! What could be better?!" I'll tell you what: a root canal, the burning flames of Hell perhaps. After reading the first chapter that elaborated on how you became half animal, I freaked. Talk about a traumatic episode, reading about how slug-like creatures crawl in your ears when you sleep, digging into your gray matter, turning you into part animal. I forgot all about how cool the animal part was and became fixated on the gross, slimy slugs that would embed themselves in my head. I think because it was so traumatizing, I've blocked out a lot of the sequence of events, but from that point on, the blankets come up to my ear, no matter whether it is winter or summer. Yes, I am not ashamed to admit I still sleep like this (ok, so I might be slightly embarrassed), but lesson learned: salt the slugs before they get you.