I am afraid of Rob Wagman


People often ask me, “Aren’t you afraid you really, truly believe all those horrible things that your imaginary friend who may or may not be a rapist, Chad Robuckle, says in your stories?”

To this, I say no. What I AM afraid of is Rob Wagman.

“Your dummy?” you ask, “why that’s ridiculous! He’s nothing more than a harmless piece of plastic!”

Plastic? Maybe. Harmless? Hardly.

Look at him. Tell me if you had that thing sitting in your closet every night, you wouldn’t be tossing and turning til four am, shitting the bed with fear. Go ahead, tell me, I dare you. You’re a fucking liar.

He sleeps in my closet, in a duffle bag. The duffle bag is zipped and the door to the closet is ALWAYS closed.

But sometimes a house makes noise. Sometimes the wood settles as the temperature drops and things contract and expand. Creaking noises eminate from all around and if one of them happens to come to the closet, I have a heart attack.

Not a fake heart attack like I pulled last year, either. Oh, by the way, April Fool’s, that was all made up.

I’m talking a real heart attack, like “holy shit, I’m gonna die” heart attack.

If you saw the season opener of the Soprano’s and you watched that guy hang himself, you have a tiny inkling into the kind of fear I have for my dummy, Rob Wagman.

Maybe you don’t see the connection, but the hanging scene was a very graphic account of a man committing suicide. It wasn’t: here I go. Snap! It’s over. It was struggling, kicking out and thrashing around, probably as you realize the finality of what you’ve done and attempt to take things back, but you can’t. It was a haunting image. I guess the guy pissed himself at the end, I couldn’t really watch that much, because it was too intense.

When you realize how frail and fragile our human bodies are, how you can commit so much damage upon them in the blink of an eye, you begin to experience the real palpable fear of having Rob Wagman in your closet.

Look, do I know if he’s really alive or not? No, I can’t make those kinds of claims. All I know is, I look into those dead eyes and I want to run and hide in my mother’s arms as I sob myself to sleep.

Maybe I’m over-reacting, but imagine if that thing was in your own closet, just four or five feet from where you slept. It’s dark, you’re alone in a big, new house. You hear strange noises. You shut your eyes tightly, afraid to open them. Afraid that when you do, he’ll be there, looking down at you. His soulless limbs flailing about, to and fro.

To paraphrase The Usual Suspect: I don’t believe in Rob Wagman, but I’m afraid of him.

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