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Monday, November 19, 2012

Fear of Chins/Equilibrium

Thanksgiving week and Monday. Weekend was OK - how about you? This Monday morning weekend wrap up thing I do - evaluating the weekend, do we all do that? Thinking we could roll out a new app for our smart phones where, when someone asks us how our weekend was, we can just flash a score like we're an Olympic judge. One thing for sure, no 9.9's for me since 6/13/11.

Highlights - singing at Schaller's on Friday - went with Adrienne and we had fun. I've got fans there who count on hearing certain songs - I was bought a drink for singing La Vie en Rose. Saturday good voice lesson with Mark, but at the end, he almost came to fisticuffs with a neighbor whose dog was on his lawn - there was actual shoving and lots of F-bombs and the neighbor even shoved Mark. Saturday, Lucas and Convex and good conversation at my house - not a federal holiday yet so just tea. Sunday, Nirav, the fellow from the American Cancer Society came over at noon and worked on the blanket (a gift for his cousin) while I got a jump on Thanksgiving cooking -he was here for six hours! Then last evening singing at 12 West Elm with friend Pam - it's a great venue with a great pianist/singer - Bob Solone. Come out one Sunday evening and hear us sing!

Phobias. I never knew there were such weird ones. For the writing group prompts last Wednesday I printed off a list of the odd ones - three pages! And oh my, if people really have some of these, my heart hurts for them. Can you imagine being deathly afraid of gravity (Barophobia)? Here are some of the ones that jumped out at me as especially bizarre:

Aerophobia: Fear of swallowing air
Arachibutyrophobia: Fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth.
Auroraphobia: Fear of Northern Lights
Catoptrophobia: Fear of mirrors
Chaetophobia: Fear of hair
Chromatophobia: Fear of colors
Eisoptrophobia: Fear of mirrors
Geniophobia: Fear of chins
Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia: Fear of long words (ha, ha, love this one!)
Levophobia: Fear of objects to the left side of the body
Metrophobia: Fear of poetry
Papyrophobia: Fear of paper
Xanthophobia: Fear of the color yellow

I studied the list and this is what I wrote.

"We're like the opposite of super heroes," Teeny said as he plopped his 300 pounds into a too-small chair that threatened to collapse under him. He was always late to group - the other four of us were used to his tardiness - used the time to chat. Lester had fantasized about us being crime fighting heroes - costumes and all. It was a stupid pipe dream - we weren't even allowed to leave the grounds of Belleview but fun, nevertheless, to think we were capable of being heroes. If nothing else, we had each other and our imaginations.

"What do you mean?" said Benny. He stared at his watch. I never once saw Benny look anyone in the eye. Didn't mean he wasn't paying attention. It's just that he had this thing about time. He was conviced that time would go backwards, accelerating in a matter of minutes back to the big bang if he didn't safeguard it, keep an eye on it. He alone, Benny, was the keeper of time - the protector of the universe and humanity. When he slept, he kept the timepiece duck-taped to his hairy chest. Apparently the beating of his heart also kept time from spiraling backwards.

"What I mean," said Teeny, "is that we're a bunch of misfits - if we were super heroes we wouldn't be prisoners in this hell-hole. He scowled at us with hostility. And I guess it pissed me off 'cuz I laughed at him - almost didn't live to write about it. Teeny's got this phobia about laughter - to him it's ten times worse than fingernails on a chalk board. All 300 pounds of him came flying out of his chair - he grabbed me around  my throat so hard my nose started to bleed down my favorite Jerry Garcia tee shirt.

That's when Alex lost it. "Oh God, Oh God, Oh God," he moaned as he stared at the blood dripping down my chin. Alex is deathly afraid of blood - can't even eat the prime rib we get once a year at Christmas. He thinks blood is alive - that, when we're born, we don't have any blood. Blood is transfused into us by alien doctors and nurses in the hospital as a way to control us and keep us dependent. Blood is actually an alien life form - a sentient being with consciousness, patrolling every inch of our bodies. From the look on his ghostly face, seeing my blood made his own blood drain to his feet. He fell to the floor, curled up in a fetal ball and sucked his thumb.

Lester tried to go to him to comfort but the problem was Alex was on his left side and Lester is deathly afraid of anything on his left side. He tried turning around but Alex was too close to the wall and he couldn't help him with his back turned - couldn't get Alex on his right side.

"Harold, what's going on here?" Nurse Ellie asked. She'd walked into a scene with me bloody, Lester facing the wall and wringing his hands, Benny cradling his watch chanting something, Teeny still murderous, pacing back and forth and Alex curled up in a corner.

"I dunno Ellie - it's just more of the same - you know." 

Oh, and me?  Why am I here? What is it I'm afraid of?........writing...............just holding a pen makes me feel like ending it sometimes. Writing this? Nurse Ellie said it would help - she calls it aversion therapy.

All for today. Full day - stuff for work. House to clean. More shopping. More cooking. Will get out all the fancy dishware - the pumpkin mugs, the tureen also in the shape of a tureen, the plates I only use on Thanksgiving with an acorn border, a serving platter in the shape of a leaf, beautiful autumnal stuff I've acquired over the years.

Challenge for you today is thinking about this upcoming week - many of you will be off work. You'll be seeing family you love but who can make you feel murderous or worse, like an insecure kid. You may struggle with maintaining your equilibrium - your healthy routines put on the shelf while you travel and accommodate  How about some visualization? Picture yourself laughing when your sister-in-law tells you it's good you have a day job cuz cooking just isn't your thing. Imagine yourself in a room full of over-inebriated obnoxious relatives who are spoiling for an argument - you are the one who switched to Perrier earlier in the evening and can get Cousin Charlie out in the fresh air - take him for a walk. When you're standing in line for security, maybe use it as a time to observe the human condition, marveling at the people and families you see, inventing back stories for each of them - surrendering to the indignities of travel. On my recent trip to Louisville, when the female security guard padded me down, (and wow, she REALLY was intrusive, including running her hands over my breasts and up into my inner thighs) I told her it was the most fun I'd had in a long time. She and I had a moment! :)


1 comment:

  1. I look forward to Thanksgiving. I'll be the guest listening for my dog's bark because I have a fear of "being THAT neighbor with the irritating dog."