Fear, a driving factor. The crawl at the back of your neck, the noise in the dark, the insecurities buried deep in your core. And yet, it’s a basic question. “What are you afraid of?” I respond casually, clowns, crickets, ventriloquist dummies, mimes, and needles. As if that’s the end. I leave out failing, disappointing, not being enough as if they don’t exist. I sweep them under the rug of my subconscious, forget they exist until I’m faced with them. I’m afraid I won’t be a good enough mother, a good enough writer, a good enough daughter. I’m afraid my lists of disappointments will run off the pages and that the people I love will see them, and be convinced that I’m unworthy.
But we don’t talk about that. It’s written on the in between. Instead we laugh and try to forget those nagging fears, replace them with big ones. What if I lost you? What would my life be like if you weren’t around. I’m afraid of terrible inevitability, of losing the ones I love in death. Age unravels us, and before we can catch a breath and look up beyond ourselves they’ll be gone. My grandfather has cancer. It’s just a matter of time. It twists like a knife, I’m afraid of life without him.