#BEDM Day 7: Feel the Fear
The thing(s) you’re most afraid of
What am I scared of? Oh Jesus, this is going to turn into another one of those deep introspective posts isn’t it? Bollocks. I hate those. Oh well, nothing for it…
When I was 11, I read Pet Sematary by Stephen King. No, seriously. We were going on holiday abroad for the first time and in the airport I asked if I could have a book to read while we were away. I saw Pet Sematary on display and for some reason I decided it would be just the very thing. So I didn’t actually sleep while reading it because I was so scared. But I’ve never been really physically scared of anything since. I mean obviously the normal stuff like spiders I find unpleasant but I don’t run away from them, I terminate them with extreme prejudice and I have found that leaving their broken corpses around as a warning to others is most efficacious. The dark doesn’t bother me, although I have a very quick startle response: do not try to sneak up or jump out at me. My fists come up before I know what’s happening and at some point someone is going to get hurt.
And obviously the standard metaphysical scary stuff applies to me just as much as anyone else: growing old, dying, blah blah blah. I don’t deal with loss particularly well, even as a child I remember being in tears because a favourite TV programme of mine was finishing, but that isn’t fear so much as sadness, and I get over things quite fast. I bruise easily but heal quickly, I guess. I’m mildly concerned that I’m 33 years old and I still don’t have a penny to my name or the vaguest clue about what I want to do with my life, but I’m not scared about it. I am sort of relying on Ray Kurzweil to come through on the whole singularity prediction and be able to be transplanted into a cybernetic body and live forever though. The thing with me is, I live in a sort of bubble of now. I never look too far down the road and I don’t spend much time dwelling on the past. I just deal with whatever presents itself, when it presents itself.
I was a little bit risk-averse when I was younger; I remember being at the top of one of those high vertical-drop slides that level off gradually, and I could see everyone going down it perfectly well but I just couldn’t bring myself to go down it. Similarly I couldn’t abseil down a small cliff on a school trip to Edale. It wasn’t a fear of heights so much a fear of plummeting to a messy death, but I think that fear sort of just got lost as I grew up; I love huge roller-coasters (Busch Gardens in Florida has a vertical-drop coaster that pisses all over that little slide) and I’d love to do a parachute jump, maybe even a bungee jump.
And of course, harkening back to my “he went full social retard” post from a couple of days ago, I guess I have a low-level back-of-the-mind anxiety of crowds and what they think of me, but that’s literally all I can think of. I’m otherwise fearless. As the late, great Bernie Mac used to say:
“I ain’t scared o’you muthafuckers”.