Friday, June 24, 2005


Lately I’ve been wondering an awful lot about how we (“we” meaning you and me and everybody else) get to the point of convincing ourselves that certain pieces of our personality are inflexible, immobile. Mountains not to be moved. I mean those pieces that we don’t like, the ones that we don’t even have any real proof of being unchangeable (other than the flimsy excuse of inertia). Seriously. What’s going on there?
Not so long ago I was reading the journal of someone I know (or maybe it’d be more accurate to say someone I used to know or may one day know again), and came across a part in which this person declared that he was worried that he had some inherent capacity to always be sad or dissatisfied or something equally despondent. My first reaction (which I’m sure would have surprised him very much) was to want to tell him that I somehow deep down did not believe this, that I thought he was made of something stronger than this. Truthfully I’m not sure what I was basing this on, and I’m not even sure if I’m right. But how does he know he’s right, either? It seems pretty terrible to be sentenced to thinking of yourself as being one particular way forever, to be convinced of your inability to alter that, for (perhaps) no reason other than familiarity and habit. History can tell you about the future, but it’s not really supposed to predict it, right?

Maybe it’s unfair to use someone else as an example, though, so I will tell you this: I’ve been really afraid, for as far back as my memory will crawl, of wearing people out, of exhausting their good opinions of me, of being left because I was “too much work.” This has happened all too often, though (at least, as far as I know. What other possible reasons would people have decided, "Nope... can't talk to you anymore..."). So what created this fear, and why is it so instinctive? Why does it continue to linger and how the fuck do I get rid of it?

Lately, my heartbeat seems so conspicuous.

childhood fears:

moving to mexico
not growing up (1)
car accidents
junior high school
cancer (and diabetes)
Unsolved Mysteries
being buried alive (2)

grown up fears: (3)

being mediocre (4)
making bad decisions
bad teeth (5)
getting old alone
Roe vs. Wade being overturned
not being understood (6)
“writer’s block” (7)


1. This led to a self-imposed cartoon ban at age 10 for fear that if I didn’t stop watching them then, I’d end up being 35 years old and still watching DuckTales or something.

2. Okay, I was a creepy little kid. Maybe I read too many Poe stories? I remember thinking that a glass casket like Snow White’s was the way to go. You know, just in case.

3. Relatively speaking here.

4. e.g., Of Human Bondage

5. This may or may not have something to do with the childhood memory of being punished for having perfectly straight teeth. Seriously.

6. e.g., The Catcher in the Rye

7. Fuck me.