The back alley had infiltrated many of my dreams and nightmares. Poorly lit, wracked with rivets and holes, usually home to dead animals and stray dogs, it filled my brain with images that fueled my already vivid imagination.
Our fence consisted of only posts for a while, meaning the backyard and the back alley were one in the same.
On one particular wandering, I found my way around to the side of the house where the great tree that separated my yard for my neighbor’s yard dropped its bean pods liberally. I was fascinated with the beans inside the shells. They were smooth and cool. I liked to rub my fingers across the surface, and the smell of the pods was comforting and summer-esque.
This day would be one of rifling through bean pods for the cutest beans to put in my pocket until I would scatter them again to the wind.
Time passed cracking open the pods and rooting for the beans. I especially liked it when they would crack perfectly down the middle and I could select the beans without having to push them out. The fateful pod cracked in such a way, and I was able to gander at the selection of beans with great interest, only…what was that?
“That’s…that’s…not a bean…”
My eyes were burdened with the vision of a bug, turned up on its back, tucked into the indention where a bean should be like a vampire in its coffin, waiting for daylight to subside. Its legs curled, dry and unmoving around its stomach, and its eyes, unblinking, judged me to the depths of my soul for my intrusion on its sleep of death.
I flung the pod! I flung it away from me and ran for my life! What disgust!
With no great reluctance, I relinquished my summer activity of pod breaking, never to pick it up again. To this day, I believe that my unbridled disgust at images of holes and ambiguous indentations originates here: the day I uncovered Dracula.