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It’s Scary Being Fearless

Halloween spiders

Someone once told me I was fearless. I suppose I am.

I would go for a job interview, if I wanted to, I’d leave this chair and go. I wouldn’t be afraid of not getting the job.

I’d be afraid they’d offer me something else. Something better.

What if the interviewer offers me her job? What if she sees my resume and says, “You are perfect for what I do.” And then she’d lower her voice and continue, “It’s not just interviewing people,” and tell me she does much, much more, and I trail off in my head and imagine how I’d redecorate this office—it needs purple—and she’d clasp my hand and tell me to start Monday.

I exchange keys, so she can go home and let my cat out. “There is some chicken in the fridge that needs to be eaten,” I’d tell her, “And cheese I was going to make into a sandwich, but you’ll have to get tomatoes, I didn’t have time before my interview.”

I’d move on, move on and up and she’d take care of my cat.

Except… I’d b afraid she’d only manage half of what I was capable of for clearly, she is not as talented as I am.

I’m not afraid of breast cancer. I am fearless about breast cancer.

I’m afraid of losing my hair and having it grow back blond. I’ve never thought of myself as a blond—I can’t deal with it now, I certainly couldn’t deal with it as a breast cancer survivor.

And if I have to reconfigure myself as a blond, it might be impossible to go on living.

I’ll have to wear prosthetic hair. Would it be someone else’s hair? But I can’t do that, someone else might need it more, like a child—I can’t deny a child the promise of brown hair. I’ll wear scarves.

People will ask or look like they want to ask, and I’ll smile reassuringly, “No, I don’t have cancer anymore, I just can’t live like this, as a blond, I mean. So I shave my head and wear scarves.”

But I’m not sure I want to have that same conversation over and over again.

There is a huge spider in my room. I am fearless about that spider.

It hangs, twisting and contorting its minstrel legs and doing more industry in moments than I manage in hours. It doesn’t write or communicate, or worry about the existential crisis following job interviews. It merely waits in the little pocket of space, merely an inch wide, pinning its life and genetic legacy on the small hope that a bug will fly just there.

These little, tiny, insignificant things that depend on even tinier, even more insignificant things just to survive. It is a marvel that peaks my curiosity because it is something I can’t possibly understand.

I’m not afraid of the spider in the corner of my room. I’m afraid it won’t be there when I come back from the bathroom.

I’m not afraid that I’m addicted to television. I am fearless about television.

The characters that have become my friends and neighbors and have affected my speech patterns and accents and certainly how I view the world. But that is just fine, I’m solid against influence. I resist everything overtly limited, narrow-minded, or ideologically one-sided—I know what it can do to you. Besides, it keeps me company and keeps me in my chair and spurs me to industry.

And yet … no, I’m not afraid. I just prefer it to a silence perforated by my own breath.

I’m not afraid the bad people are winning. I am fearless about bad people.

The vile bastards, what do they know? What have they learned from their limited, narrow-minded, ideologically one-sided TV shows? From what small corner did they crawl? That blond hair they shave closely and cleanly. That is what they all are anyway, sunburned, aching to cover but too proud. Against them I will fight, we all will, all of us good ones. No, I’m not afraid the bad ones are winning, I’m afraid of my own self losing.

I’m not afraid of anything. Lately, that niggling energy laced with guilt, pain and despair has kept me up all night.

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