When all else fails, fear

There’s an ugly rumor going around that I don’t like to wash.

Well, guess what? It’s true.

I’m afraid of water. I don’t even like it in a glass, with floating cubes of ice on top. I don’t like it in my shoes, on rainy days like today. I don’t like it in my eyes, especially now that I’ve wrenched a good part of my life’s savings out of my bank in order to pay for laser correction of my failing sight. I don’t like it in my hair, where it produces an amazing variety of dandruff shapes, some curiously resembling the Mandelbrot set. I don’t like it on my cats. I don’t like it in my ears. I don’t like it on the floor. Let me put it this way: I don’t like it. I just don’t like it. I don’t like it and I’m afraid of it. I have an inexplicable fear of drowning. I dream terrible dreams of water engulfing me from all sides. I don’t know how to swim. In real life, I mean, I don’t know how to swim. In my dreams I’m an instinctually good swimmer, but the water is heavy and gooey, somehow, like melted chocolate, and I drown in it. And in the morning, awake and on dry land, I fear I’ll drown accidentally while brushing my teeth.

I have lots of fears. Stupidity, for example. I’m terrified of that. The lack of compassion. Ooof! Why don’t they make a pill against that? Or, at least, a pill for that, so that I too can get it and just finally blend in.

More than anything, as a child, I feared the vacuum cleaner. This explains the state of perpetual dirt I now live in. I don’t believe in cleaning up, you see. Dusting book shelves, TV stands, tops of commodes and barely accessible corners of little-used rooms…pointless, in my opinion. You can’t fight dust, any more than you can fight eventual and certain death. Mopping floors, wiping off toothpaste-splashed mirrors, and rinsing out a dish cloth…why? It’ll just get dirtier tomorrow. At best, cleaning is simply a redistribution of dirt from one spot on the floor to the next. If you can’t see it, it isn’t there to kill you. So leave it alone.

Cars. I used to be afraid of those as well. I really can’t explain that. Except that maybe I’m such a couch potato the car threatened my existence in one place and one place only, for ever and ever and ever. I don’t like to move much. Not, move as in pack up and move to another place on the map. I mean move as in from here to the kitchen. I’d like to spend my entire life parked in front of the TV. I hate television for making my brain as dull as my ass, but I can’t help wanting to sit in front of it, always and forever. I like to sit with my feet pointed straight towards the television set. On my right should be a large bucket of some kind of refreshing beverage featuring a slice of lemon, on my left a tub of freshly popped popcorn. And then just, please, leave me alone with the remote control. Thank you.

(By the way, you can keep the cell phone and the computer. I can always shout for help; unless of course, I choke on the popcorn. And, thank heavens, there’s always paper and pencil. So take the cell and the computer, fuck off, and let me be.)

Those are my fears. Small, I’d say. Insignificant, for sure. Who cares if I spend the rest of my life in front of the TV, eating junk and watching…junk.

What are your fears? Are you living in a world of mass shootings, government-controlled internet, tapped telephones, potential enemies of the state around every corner? Are you afraid of your mail? Not afraid of it exploding in your face. Are you afraid of what it may contain on paper? Bills, threatening letters from creditors, lawsuits, demands for repayment of old debts you’ve surely paid off decades ago? Are you afraid of any of that? Are you afraid of your neighbors because they look and talk unlike anyone you’re used to? Are you afraid of getting sick and having to be driven to a shit hospital where a careless doctor will prod you without once looking into your face? Are you afraid of being alone on Saturday night? Are you terrified of what tomorrow may bring?

Don’t my fears seem unbelievably small now? And oh, by the way, congratulations, Western World, for making yourself convinced you should be afraid of everything and everyone. Stop by, if you ever have a chance, over here where we, the “underdeveloped” poor souls, still live unafraid of leaving our front door unlocked.


3 Replies to “When all else fails, fear”

  1. I am afraid of zombies. 11 years ago, I watched my first zombie movie and was scarred for life. I’m also deathly afraid of the dark. When I’m in bed I have to turn my face toward the wall so I don’t stare into the darkness and imagine things that aren’t really there.

  2. Lack of compassion is a valid fear – one of my best friends said that if she could have a superpower it’d be to punch people into an empathetic state.

    We’ve both been close to less-than-compassionate people.

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