Thursday, April 5, 2012

F is for Fears

Besides dying, which I imagine is a universal fear, I am afraid of bugs and birds.

Look at these bugs. What could be grosser--more gross?--than a picture of a bunch of insects. I'm sure they fill important niches in the world, but I can't relate to them. If you live along the Gulf Coast, you are visited by cockroaches--the large, outside kind--no matter how squeaky clean your house is. You can squash them, but that grosses me out. A friend of mine used to drop the phone book on them and wait for her husband to come home and dispose of the corpse. That strikes me as too "helpless little princess", and besides I no longer have a husband to act as hired killer, so I spray them with bug spray until they are dead. Once I discovered an enormous roach crawling lazily across my ceiling as if he owned the territory. I couldn't reach him with the spray but I finally sort of guided him in the right direction and then spritzed him. He dropped to the floor and I put a newspaper over him, planning to get rid of him later. A few minutes passed and then the newspaper started to move. I lifted a corner and sprayed again. The paper kept moving, I kept spraying until finally, finally he expired. As I scooped up the paper, I thought of Rasputin, the Russian monk who was supposedly shot repeatedly, survived, then clubbed, survived, and finally drowned. Perhaps the evil monk was actually a giant cockroach.

My fear of birds began with an incident in my childhood. One evening I walked down our hallway and started to open the glass door into the living room. To my surprise, I saw a small black bird. It was madly circling the room, I suppose trying to get out. I screamed and our housekeeper came running. Grabbing a broom, she opened the outside door and eventually chased the bird outside. By this time, I was sitting on the floor crying. "Where did it come from?" I howled. "Must have flown in through the chimney," she said and patted my shoulder. But I was not comforted. I wanted my mother but she was in the hospital, giving birth to my sister. I had always wanted a sister and had saved up money in my bank because Daddy had told me it cost $100 to pay for a baby. Now I wasn't so sure about this baby business. This little creature would probably usurp my spot in the family. She'd already taken Mommy away when I needed her.

I did learn to love my sister, and eventually I learned to walk past the fireplace without cringing (Daddy had a screen put over the top of the chinmney). Still, I've never gotten over my distaste for birds or my fear that one will fly at me someday and peck me on the head.

What about you? Do you have irrational fears, or is it just me?


Susan Kane said... [Reply to comment]

Actually, I am fine with bugs. God has an amazing imagination when it comes to bugs. My son became an entomologist (bug expert) and works as a consulting scientist for exterminating company in NYC.

I hate lice, really hate lice. Taught grade school, and saw those bugs tooooo much!

Andrea Coventry said... [Reply to comment]

My irrational fear is bridges. My first really bad experience started when my mother took us to Mackinac Island in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We parked at the bridge the night before we were going to cross and I had petrifying nightmares. To this day, I involuntarily cry or have a minor panic attack when I drive over large bridges, but still make myself do it.


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