Monday, January 19, 2009

Everyone is . . . January 19, 2009

Prompt: Everyone is Afraid of Something.
What scares you?


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

There is nothing to fear but...

* I’m terrified of clowns and their can’t-read expressions. Make-up smattered on wild and exaggerated, thick and white with red.
* And not only clowns, but anyone with a mask or facial shield, shroud, or covering. The Blue Devil even, despite how much I love Duke.
* Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. There was nothing magical about the Magic Kingdom to my five-year-old sensibilities. Even now, Disney Land doesn’t appeal.
* I’m afraid of the rides too.

Fear of clowns, I’ve learned, is more common than I once thought. My other typical phobias include:
* Heights
* Flying
* Snakes, though not spiders
* Death

I’ve outgrown my fear of cockroaches, thanks to my cat Mya who plays with them like toys, bats them around until they’re on their backs, their last limbs spinning, fast at first and then not at all. Mya picks up the hard shells in her teeth, carries them into the bathroom, and drops them next to the scale.

* And of course, public speaking. Whose heart doesn’t pitter-patter at the thought of so many eyes that won’t look away?

My less common fears aren’t any less frightening:
* I’m petrified of the little growths on potatoes that have been kept too long – sprouts they’re called. Most sprouts I enjoy, particularly alfalfa, but the potato version, I just can’t stand. The feel of each hard nub, the quiet crunch as I remove, the spindly finger-like quality.
* I’m also terrified of the instant replay. Strange, I know, but more often, the replay is aired not to determine whether a shot beat the buzzer, or how much time is left on the play clock, but to dissect an injury. A leg bends back in a manner in which it was never designed, tendons twitch and then give, ligaments too. Thankfully there’s no sound on the playback, so no snap or tear or scream. But there is the player’s awful shock, that too-much-to-take pain, eyes wide, jaw clenched. I’ve been there, don’t need to see it on anyone else.
* But mostly I’m afraid of fear, that it will stop me from doing or trying or giving everything I have. That I will look back at the end of all this and regret that I let a little sweat on the brow or lump in the throat keep me from an adventure in living.

Carol Henderson said...

We once employed a clown at one of our daughter's birthday party--his name was something about rainbows--and our daughter's best friend Sam ran running home screaming in terror. He hated clowns.
I like the list approach here--the unusual entries at the end and the final fear of fear.

Isabel said...

I got in an elevator today. I had to go to the 2nd floor to visit a friend who had double knee replacement surgery and had two transfusions. All I had to do was go in an elevator and go to the 2nd floor. It was hard.

I didn’t tell her how scared I was to do that. I didn’t tell her that I checked my cell phone almost before the door shut automatically, and saw that I had no signal, therefore, more fear, if that could be possible. How can you really have more fear when your little adrenal glands have already squirted out all the epinephrine that they could come up with and your heart and blood pressure on sitting on the ceiling. If it could be possible to be MORE afraid, then I was, but really I think my mind had just caught up with my body’s reaction to say, “See, no reception. Now it may take them a week to find you.” I think, “Will the door open? Will it take such a slow, interminable time that my hot, sweaty palms melt my whole body and the only thing that will be left will be a quivering puddle when and if the door is ever opened?” I am alone in metal crate with thick walls. Those busy people at the desk have probably forgotten about me. It takes forever to go one flight. I hear all the noises, the grunts, squeaks and strains that the machine that I am in makes.

My friend had a spinal with sedation. She had surgery for five hours with two surgeons, each working on a leg.

I looked around before getting in. Doors here, doors there, lab this, patient room that. What’s the matter with these architects? Don’t they realize we have legs to use, for Pete’s sake? Can’t they put the dang elevator near the stairs, so you don’t have to walk to China just to go upstairs?

They had to use saws and hammers for her prostheses to be inserted into the femur and the shin bones. They hammered and sawed, and apparently blood went everywhere, because her blood pressure and hematocrit were so low afterwards that she needed oxygen. She said she wasn’t worried because they weren’t worried.

Often I have walked to China, and then I get so lost, and ask directions, and get more lost. The worst was when I got locked in a stairwell, and believe me, if you think it might take a while to be discovered locked in an elevator, the realization of how long it might be before being discovered in an unused stairwell, well, that could be a VERY long time. My cell phone worked, though. I called 911. That’s all I could think to do.

So, being afraid of elevators has some bad drawbacks, such as I have just mentioned. In the movie, What About Bob, a very funny movie by the way, he is also reluctant, I prefer the euphemism, to go on elevators, and by the time he climbs nine floors, he can hardly say his name to the receptionist, and his name is little more than an exhale anyway, which is about all he can do. By the way, he is going to his shrink, good thing! I can relate. Not only did I use to regularly, every day, sometimes a few times a day, ascend the 5 flights to get to my office, I was later transferred to the 8th floor, which I also did. Once when my two children came to my office, they had to walk it, climb is the more accurate word, too. I think it’s a memory they still have. Forget about my office or the people they met, they were quite taken by the knowledge that they climbed so many flights of stairs. I told people that the reason I didn’t want to use elevators was because I didn’t want to catch TB.

But you may well guess the real reason.

See you on the stairs.

By the way, I told my friend her courage was an inspiration.

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