I like to think that each of us has a small list of terrors that we’ve never been able to mentally conquer. I know I do. They say that a person should never live in fear, but I feel confident that intermittent moments of panic can keep life exciting as well as promote advances in human ingenuity. For example, if no child had ever been afraid of monsters, would we have night-lights?
I think not.
I think not.
This is my fear shortlist. Feel free to leave a comment containing yours - or we could just wait for that fateful day when we bump into each other at the beach and suddenly find ourselves being chased into the water by giant nutcracker dolls.
So, what fills my nightmares, you ask?
Spiders – I don’t care if they are big, small, hairy, spindly, bright, dull, strung on a web or trapped in a cage. If it has eight legs, I hate it, and will readily baptize it in the raging river of an American Standard. No exceptions.
Deep water – I do love me some tropical beach, so please understand that I’m not referring to the deep end of a pool or bodysurfing on icy Atlantic waves. What I’m talking about is black-as-night, teeming with evil jellyfish, great white shark-infested waters. You like free diving? Fabulous. Swimming the English Channel for a charity? Send me a support letter. But I’d rather ride a bicycle made of bacon through a pack of rabid dogs than dip my toe in the Bermuda Triangle.
No. Possible. Way.
Skin diseases – I know that there must be a reader out there who is dealing with a destructive and painful epidermal affliction. I am so genuinely sorry, but if I were to leave this number off of my list, I would be lying to you. I like to give blood. I loved dissection in A & P lab. I didn’t even mind taking a course in disease and pathology (that is, aside from the searing cognitive plutonium known as STD slides – if we were to start showing these images in 6th grade health class, teen pregnancy would instantly be a non-issue). I even like watching surgeries on television. However, if there is one thing that I cannot stand the mental (let alone visual) picture of, it’s covered under the umbrella of skin disease. I can deal with eczema, psoriasis, or even poison ivy, but when you start using adjectives like flaky, scaly, and puss-filled in the same sentence, my mind starts melting down like chocolate in August and I have to start singing America’s Top 40 to fend of the shakes.
Lurkers – Whenever I arrive at our house down south, my first act is always to go find my trusty baseball bat under the bed, and to walk in and out of every room (checking in every closet and under every bed) to be sure that I have no lurkers lying in wait for me. The other week I drove home without C, and due to the intense creakiness of our house combined with baseboard heaters and with my overactive imagination, I fell asleep in a half-seated position with my right hand clutching my bat. I had even planned out the best manner by which to thrust it upon waking, should the need arise. If you try to play on this fear for a good laugh, be warned. I will swing at you. And it will be your fault.
There are more fears where this list came from, but these are the majors, and I’ve reached a necessary-stopping point. I Googled “skin disease” to try to come up with better verbal imagery for you, and the images that popped up may leave me unable to speak. Permanently.