Here’s something about me you may not know: I worry a lot. I’m a worrier. For example:
A few years ago I saw how a family took a wrong turn on a vacation in Oregon and ended up trapped in their car in a snow storm. They ran out of food and water and were so cold that they tried burning the tires of their car for heat. And eventually, the father went out on foot to find help*. He died of hypothermia, I believe. That story had a huge impact on me and is the reason that I wear edible and wood jewelry. Seriously. If there are seeds or beans in the bead shop? I buy that mess, string it and wear it every day. Just in case. And at times I wonder if perhaps the seed beads have been treated in some way, or lacquered, but then I realize that if worse comes to worse, I can soak them in my saliva, break them down and survive on the inside part. The wood I can burn for warmth.
Years ago, when I was a teen, I was walking into a shop and there was a woman standing by the door holding on to an empty plastic bag. In a split second, I imagined her taking the bag, shoving it over my head and suffocating me, so I ran into the store. She was gone when I came back out. And yes, I kept peeking until she was gone.
A couple of weeks ago, while I was with the boys at Buffalo Exchange, a girl came up to me and asked me where I had purchased my necklace. I told her that I had made it, and she asked if she could buy one from me. Since I have nothing but time**, I told her I would, and then silently cursed her for the next two days until I found the time to make it. She came to where I work to pick it up, and out of her back pocket she pulled a squished, wrapped, handmade brownie and gave it to me. After she left, I threw it in the garbage, so as not to die from the poison that she obviously put in it, but my office mate took it back out and ate it. I watched for signs of distress in him for the rest of the day. He thought I was crazy.
I can’t stand it when my kids get Ranger Rick in the mail and it has a giant spider on the front, because I swear to SIPNEL I am afraid that spider will suddenly turn real and, and . . . what? Attack me? What the fuck do I think is going to happen? But really, I only touch the very edge of the magazine and then sort of throw it down and away from my body when we get into the house.
I’ve lived in Arizona for 16 years now, and have still never been to the Grand Canyon. It’s one of those things that I usually hate admitting to, because everyone says the exact same thing to me about it, and I get annoyed at the lack of originality. Yes, I know that I should, and I know that I should be ashamed that I haven’t. Why do I know? Because everybody keeps telling me. Seriously, someday I will tell someone that I have never been and they will say to me, “Cool! I think that’s great and perfectly acceptable!” But for now, I will tell you why I have never gone to stand on the very edge of a giant fucking hole in the earth. Years ago, my sister and I were visiting my uncle for “Family Weekend” at SUNY Geneseo while he was a student there. After our first night, he and his girlfriend took us for a beautiful hike, which ended at a popular picnic spot near a small lake. On one side of the lake was a large cliff, and on the other was the picnic spot. The top of the cliff was a “scenic stop” and there were people at the top, looking down at us. After a little while, we heard a scream, and looked up just in time to see a small child fall off the cliff.
No. I am not kidding.
We watched his body bounce off of every rock and every tree that he contacted the entire way down the cliff, until he reached the bottom, where he lay until the paramedics could hike in and carry him out. In the end, he was alright (my uncle was credited for being pretty heroic that day, and I distinctly remember him running across that lake to get to the child), but let me assure you that as a result of witnessing that? When I think about going to the Grand Canyon? All I want to do is vomit.
For some reason, whenever something frightens me, I get a sharp, shooting pain in my forehead. What’s that about? It’s weird.
We have a basement in the office building that I now work in, and it’s where the coffee pot is, so, let’s face it, I have to go into the basement a lot. But dude. It is pretty terrifying down there, especially if I am in said building completely alone. I got myself pretty worked up last week and convinced myself that even though the door to the building was locked, someone could have found a way in, and that I was going to be ambushed and raped (I know, I know, but it’s the truth!). So, I go into that basement for the love of coffee alone, and I have thought through my counter attack.
I’m convinced that one day a Palo Verde beetle will get into the house, climb in our bed, and touch me.
Lately, anytime my boss at my new job tells me that he needs to talk to me about something, I immediately begin to accept the fact that I’m about to be fired. OK. This one I blame on John.
But, you see what I’m trying to highlight here, right? I’m trying to highlight the crazy that lives inside me. And also, I would love to determine the cause of the shooting pain in the front of my head when something scares me, because it’s really weird. An added bonus would be to hear that I’m not actually crazy, and that many, many people experience the same thoughts. And if not, maybe don’t tell me.
Great. Something else to worry about.
*Don’t ever do that.
**Total sarcasm and resentment.