What scares me…
Since it’s Halloween, one of my favorite holidays by the way, I’d like to talk about what frightens me. Fear is one of those things that, for some people at least, is somewhat difficult to discuss. It’s kind of a big thing to admit that you’re frightened at all, let alone what might have frightened you. To some it’s about not appearing weak, for others it’s about not wanting to think about what scares them, for fear of….well, being afraid. Still others refuse to speak of their fears because they feel dwelling on one’s fear for too long diminishes their experience of life and living it; that it gets in the way of the more enjoyable things in life. For myself, I embrace fear, for it is only in accepting and examining our fears that we overcome them. The path to courage is through fear, you might say.
I’m afraid of a lot of things, actually, and my fears have evolved and changed as I have grown older. For example, I used to be afraid to go into certain parts of my house, because that shit was haunted. I’m still afraid of haunted places, but for very different reasons than I had been before. I no longer think of what could come out of the darkness to”get” me, but what might follow me home and become interested in my life in a way I don’t want it to. I’ve also found great comfort in my own courage about that sort of thing. I used to be afraid of getting jumped and getting the shit kicked out of me after school, but these same kids who would beat on me would also never enter a haunted house alone, and I would. I took my beatings and my humiliation (by far the more terrifying aspect of an ass-whooping for me) but they would not and could not take the….spooking? BLOODY COWARDS!!!
It’s funny how we have different kinds of fears, too. There’s the palpable, serious fears of adulthood, like worrying about losing a loved one, or a job. Then there’s the more ethereal fears like a fear of the dark, or the fear of the unknown, which I think everyone experiences at some points in their lives. The more elusive fears are the far more serious ones, I think. They’re the ones that creep up on us when we aren’t paying attention and suddenly make us feel completely out of control. There is also the irrational psychological fears, like spiders, needles or sock puppets. Mine is wasps and hornets. I turn into a crazy person when it concerns those flying, stinging assholes. **Disclaimer: This does not include most honeybees! Honeybees make honey and are directly responsible for the creation of mead. They are a global treasure and must be preserved. That is all!**
I think what I fear most is that I will somehow be the instrument of my own misery, that somehow my whole life will fall apart in front of me and I will lose everything that I care about and everyone that I love, and that it will be my own fault. Again, this is a variation of a fear I held when I was a teenager: that I would completely lose control of my anger and explode, hurting everyone around me. I overcame this fear as an adult, as I realized that for all of my own seething anger at the world, I am far more in control of my temper and my temperament than most people think I am and, more importantly than most people are. One of my favorite lines from The Avengers is, “That’s my secret, Captain…I’m always angry.”
I have to say, without arrogance, that one thing I’ve never feared is death, and I mean that. I’ve never been afraid to die, not even when I was a little kid. When I was in Ireland with my mother for a summer trip, we were on the second level of a double decker bus and a couple of… let’s call them hooligans…. were giving my mom and I shit because we were American. They came up and sat right behind us and one of them pulled out a gun and put it to the back of my seat. He looked at my mom and menacingly sneered at her, which caused her to almost throw up and start blabbering about how she was born in the country and how very Irish she was. A nine year old Kevin promptly mocked the shit bird for his “little” gun (I think it was a .22) and how it didn’t look at all real. The guy looked at me with what I can only describe as a combination of frustration, amusement and respect, assuring me that it was real. I assured him that if his gun was real, it was so small it didn’t look like it would have hurt me much. He laughed at me loudly and after a short conversation with us, got off at the very next stop, telling us both to have a good day. I realized many years later while looking at some pictures of firearms that his gun was likely very real. Dodged that bullet I guess, HA!
Now having said that, I can tell you that had these two Irishmen wanted to beat me up, I’d have been terrified. Again I think that I was far more afraid of the humiliation of getting beat up than any actual physical danger. How that makes sense, I do not understand, but hey – that’s fear. It usually doesn’t make sense.
What are you afraid of?
Care to share your inner most terrors with the rest of us? Leave your fears in the comments below! Thank you for reading and have a fucking amazing Halloween!
P.S. Don’t forget to get your treat on Halloween and pre-order your copy of The White Wolf and The Darkness!