Wednesday, February 04, 2004

More Apprehension
It used to be that when my dad got mad, he never yelled. He just got very, very quiet and cold and unresponsive. And then his hand would fly out. It could be quite unexpected. Now whenever a guy gets very quiet or seems cold and silent, I get all uneasy. Inwardly, I'm flinching already.
My sted-dad was even more unpredictable: he didn't have to be angry to do something mean. Indeed, some of his cruelest moments were when his fat face was wreathed in a sadistic smile and his potbelly rumbled with evil chuckles. Eating dinner next to him was nerve wracking. You never knew if he'd steal the food from your plate, or ridicule the way you shook the salt, or puncture your leg with a toothpick, or zap you with a stun gun. Only one thing was for certain- that *something* would happen. I still hate scenes at the dinner table. You never know what might happen...
Snakes- I'm absolutely, positively, irrationally phobic about them. I've finally gotten to the point where a photograph of one doesn't make my heart jump unexpectedly. I don't know why I hate them, but I do. I hate the sound their bodies make, slithering through dry grass. I hate the graceful, sinous curves of them, even as I admire their beauty. I hate their heads and souless eyes. MOST OF ALL I HATE THE WAY THEY SNEAK OUT OF NOWHERE AND SURPRISE YOU! Why? Because- I can't go into any area where I've recently seen a snake, or where a snake might be, without worrying about it. There doesn't have to be a snake present. The knowledge that there may be is enough to ruin the experience for me, because I'm constantly dreading encountering one at close range. If there was a warning, if they were neon orange or two feet tall so I could see them, I wouldn't be half as afraid of them as I am.
Conspiracy theories: I used to waste a lot of time worrying about these. Now that was a strain. I decided to save the fear for things that I could *do* something about. But think about it for a moment. The big factor in a conspiracy theory is the fear, the apprehension of what 'they' might do to you, and who 'they' might be, and when they'll do it. If you knew who it was, what they were going to do, and when, much of the fear would evaporate, and people would simply prepare or take action until they could feel secure again, like they did for Y2K.
Nightmares- think about it: which kinds are the scariest? The ones where you never see your stalker or monster or whatever, right? Or where you see it, but it never catches you, you're afraid of what'll happen when it does, or in falling dreams- I never land- the expectation of splatting on the ground is what's so scary.

Yeah. It looks like apprehension is the scariest thing of all. (note: the next time you watch the news, keep this in mind. Notice how they milk the viewers for a fearful reaction. Effective, aye?)

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