Fear Inside the Market and Elsewhere
The year was 1993. I had refused to leave the house. I’d get halfway down the street and the world would morph into a distorted drawing: harsh, yellow light steamrolling the cars into toys, then into television screens. My alarum was filthy. Adrenaline manipulated the air from my lungs. I’d bellowed tremendously, aimlessly, pounding the skin off my fists and into brick walls.
I missed everything including Halloweens. Tonight, maybe, I can muster up the—I mean, scarier things have happened…
When I think of how it started, those attacks of acute illusoriness, I think of that market. It’s where I first went mad. I was 12, sucking cherry soda through a straw, breathing panickily under those fluorescent lights. The walls suddenly unfastened and liquefied my sister’s face onto the floor. I knew at that moment all my marbles had been lost. Perhaps I was born mad, perhaps my existence is still something I’m unsure of. The croaker who saw me after I situated myself, shoeless, in his office didn’t exist either – another unreality seesawing at my ear.
To go outside, I cloaked every situation in mental soothings. I projected a kind and understanding father onto the expressions of strangers. Now they’d surely be ready to love me back to right-mindedness. But the bicycles, they became twisted. And young mothers…they had faces like meat hooks, appearing sharp and potentially ruthless in an instinct to protect their children. I couldn’t risk asking them for help. Instead, I pretended to be my own father, pacifying my brain with parentese: “You’re o-o-kay, you’re o-o-kay”.
But it wasn’t, and it still isn’t.
“The next time you’re about to act out of fear, ask yourself if the negative feelings you’re experiencing are calling the shots.” Dr. Branson muttered. Easy for him to say… I sit again this Halloween night in costume, alone. The ghosts and goblins don’t scare me, it’s the unknown, it holds the power. The shots have once again been called by fear. And as far as safety goes, I’m uncertain it can be found anywhere.