Monday, February 4, 2013

Fear and Love

One of the (many) podcasts I listen to is Paul Gilmartin’s The Mental Illness Happy Hour. Near the end of every episode, Paul does a “fear-off” with his guest, usually followed by a “love-off”, neither of which are as suspect as they sound. It’s really just Paul and his guests taking turns reading from a list their fears and loves. 

I’m very tired, and decided to top off a really long stressful day by trying out a new podcast all about philosophy, which served not only to make me even more mentally exhausted, but also to make me feel like a big dumb stupid head. That philosophy stuff is mind-blowing, or would be if I understood any of it, such as what the terms “axiology” and “categorical imperative” meant. 

Therefore, tonight, my feeble, cold-addled brain can only reflect upon itself rather than the complex reality of the world outside of itself, (as much as objective reality can exist, that is.) So I hereby present you with a list of my Fears, and a list of my Loves. (I must warn you, more than one Love item will probably involve my cats.)


I’m afraid that my creativity has reached its rather pathetic peak and is now in rapid decline, and I will never write anything good ever again and all I ever had in me was two, maybe three books tops.

I’m afraid a spider will somehow crawl into my ear canal at night and lay eggs and my whole body will be full of spider eggs and I’ll burst open and a million little spiders will spill out of my guts but somehow I’ll still be alive to witness it.

I’m afraid that the wackjobs on Vigilant Citizen are right, and we are somehow all being controlled by a shady Illuminati-like cabal who is secretly conducting mind-control experiments on us.

I’m afraid that one day my resilience will finally fail me, and I’ll have a complete and irreversible mental breakdown and end up in one of those homes.

I’m afraid of the abandon mental institutions on Ghost Hunters, but I’m even more afraid of the people who accept jobs watching over the abandon mental institutions.  

Even though I don’t gamble, I’m afraid I may be in a casino one day and get all caught up in the moment and lay down our life savings on a bad spin.

I’m afraid I will be driving one night and a daytime construction crew forgot to cover a hole in the cement and I will drive into it and be trapped in the car until someone finds me.

I’m afraid that what they say is true and I probably have 18 pounds of unprocessed toxic phthalaytes in my liver from all of the makeup I’ve plastered on over the years, but that even if I get cancer from it, I will still keep wearing makeup, because I really am that vain.

I’m afraid one day I will suddenly and inexplicably forget where I live and will stand there, lost and terrified on the street, unable to explain my dilemma and ask for help. 


I love it when Mr. Typist wears his soft gray Bruins T-shirt under a denim shirt. He just looks all touchable and snuggly that way.

I love it when I whistle for my boy cat in the morning, and he comes tearing across the lawn at full speed, the vestiges of his leopard ancestors evident in his powerful back legs, fully Cat, primal and alive at that moment, running, running, running, leaping up the stairs, with almost too much momentum to stop when he finally skids into the food bowl.

I love MMORPGs, where I can lose myself in the experience of being a completely different person for a period of time.

I love seeing women at the pool who are friends hanging out and talking with each other. It makes me happy to see friendship in action; the easy camaraderie of women.

I love the cashier in the cafeteria in the mornings, who wears green glitter nail polish and always has a kind word and a serene smile, no matter how early it is or how tired she is. 

I love nail art. There, I said it.

I love a hot shower at the end of the day, complete with lavender body wash and a loofah.

I love planetariums.

I love the choral music I’m listening to right now.

I love walking up the brutally steep hill to work in the morning, seeing my breath on the air, my legs gaining power with each step, my heart coming alive with the pure, willful physicality of pushing my body just a little harder than it wants to go. 

Them's mine.  It's your turn!

Kristen McHenry