Friday, June 24, 2005


here's what was keeping me awake last night.

have you ever thought about what fear does to people? it's almost like a drug, because it impares a person's thinking and makes everything seem worse than it really is. sometimes, it can completely incapacitate someone. i remember once when i was about ten, i was summer camp and we had gone to play at this waterfall that ran out of a cool cave. the kids were climbing all over it. i was climbing down onto a little platform and all of a sudden i felt like i was way too close to the edge. i wasn't, and even if i had been, even if i had fallen, i would have landed in the water and been just fine. there were kids right next to me jumping off the rocks into the pool below. but i was so scared i couldn't move. i didn't move at all for what seemed like forever. one kid noticed i was scared and tried to help me, but i wasn't wouldn't take his hand because i was afraid to move. the counsellors finally noticed that i hadn't budged and came to "rescue" me. i was fine the whole time, but i had nightmares about that for years.

consider a woman and a spider. i know that not all women are afraid of spiders, but my mom sure is. especially when i was little, if she saw a spider, she would go crazy- screaming, jumping around, maybe running away, and yelling for my dad. i know everyone says the spider is more afraid of the person, but think about it. most of the spiders in my house were wolf spiders and were harmless. they always died, too, once my mom knew they were there. they had a lot more to be afraid of than she did. but because my mom was afraid, it effectively made her useless, just like i was useless on that waterfall.

why are people afraid of spiders? is it because they can bite? i personally think it's the eight legs that creep most people out. but why is that scary?

why is anything scary?

what are you afraid of? for me, it's broken glass. it scares me because when it's really sharp, it can cut your skin and you can't even feel it. it just splits you open. i still have nightmares about big, jagged sheets of glass with blood on them cutting into people. i hate watching it in movies. i think it scares me because you can't feel it and you can't do anything about it. so maybe that's it? that it makes people helpless? i'm afraid of being helpless? but sometimes fear makes me helpless. that doesn't make sense.

i'm afraid of zombies, too. yes, i know zombies aren't real, but i used to lay awake at night because i was terrified of them. why? i think it's the same reason. if a zombie bites you, you turn into a zombie, and there's nothing you can do about it. i'm afraid of things that make me helpless. it's an oxymoron.

think about movies, where the girl is helpless to fight off the bad guy because she's so scared she practically peeing her pants. in thriller movies, the characters are usually clinging to each other because they are so terrified. fear doesn't make sense. it reduces people to helpless, illogical little children.

FDR said that we have nothing to fear but fear itself. when i was little i always thought that was a dumb quote. i thought, of course there are things to fear. that president, whoever he was, didn't know anything. but it's so true! fear makes everything worse, and in most cases, it makes the scary thing impossible to fight.

so what are you afraid of? think about it. why does it scare you?

No comments: