Aug 3, 2008

If the Only Thing We have to Fear, is Fear, What do We do with Crane Death?

Every morning I face my fear. It looms above me, literally and figuratively, as I walk to work. It is a thing called a crane. It makes me scared because of a thing called “crane death” which happens when somebody doesn’t put the crane on quite right and the crane comes crashing hundreds of feet down to the sidewalk and anybody walking on it. If somebody is walking on that sidewalk, that is how “crane death” occurs.

I am walking and I am usually reading a book because that’s called killing three birds, no make that four birds, with one stone (exercise, getting to work, reading, and showing the Iraqis or Saudi Arabians or Cheney's that I don’t need their oil) which also today is called multi-tasking because dead birds are politically incorrect. When I get to the cranes, my pace picks up a little. I try to keep reading but the words go blurry. I look up because maybe if I see the crane begin to fall, I can run and avoid “crane death”. I look down because maybe if I don’t know “crane death” is about to happen, I’ll never know and just die instantly in peace. At all times I picture my body three feet in front of me. Though I am standing it has been squished down to about two inches. Flesh, bones and intestines squeeze out and wrap around the gigantic pieces of metal which have just acted as my soul’s train to heaven. That’s what “crane death” looks like in my mind.

I am probably more afraid of drowning than I am of “crane death” but I don’t have many opportunities to drown. I don’t swim to work, I walk. “Crane death”, seems much more imminent.

I am also afraid of roaches. Though lately, I have become more angry at them than afraid of them. When I see one in my apartment, I scream like a burglar has just entered. If my husband is home, I run to wherever he is and keep screaming and shivering until he has found the roach, killed it, flushed it, and given me a nasty look for hurting his ears. If he is not home, I turn into a raging banshee. I grab the can of Raid and a shoe and both drown and beat it to death. While I flush it down the toilet I yell, “this is where I put my own human waste! This is your end! You don’t mess with me. You come into my house, this is how you leave!” This death is probably much worse than “crane death”. To be drowned, poisoned, squished and flushed is not a nice way to go.

I do not normally affirm the killing of bugs if they are outside. If bugs could read, this would be my message for them:

Dear Bugs,

Outside is your home, inside is my home. If I am outside in your home, I will not bother you. If you are inside in my home, I will kill you. I will poison, drown and beat you to death. You have ALL of outside. That’s really a lot when you think about it, if you can think. I come to your home sometimes because it’s the only way I have to get places. But when you have so much home, it doesn’t seem like too much to ask. Me? I have a little two bedroom apartment. Please do not come in. You’re not welcome and you might die.

Love, Bethany

So my fears of late have been “crane death” and roaches, because I face both of them nearly every day. They are both things that I really cannot control. They are both things I cannot reason with. They are merely things of which I have irrational fear.

Last week when I was walking to work, I realized I could take a different route. There are lots of ways to the Woodruff Arts Center from 4th St. and I could use a different one. But then I didn’t want to, because this way every day I face my fear. I say, “crush me if you want to. I can’t poison you, drown you, or beat you.” So, I’ll just look my fear in the anthropomorphic eye that I’ve given it (it’s a green eye) and keep walking right under.

What are you afraid of?


Abigail Grace said...

So glad to see your new posts! I'm afraid of blood. Needles. and anything really that has to do with something inside the body coming out. Except gas in most instances.

The Cobra said...

I'm afraid of failure. Particularly afraid of failing to live up to the things I say to those closest to me.

andiewade said...

i have an extreme irrational (i don't think it's really a "fear") problem with things that are swinging by themselves. seriously. like if a child is swinging, then gets off the swing and the swing is still swinging, i MUST go stop it. if it is something i can't stop (such as maybe the big hook on a crane) i feel like i'm about to have a panic attack. i've often wondered if i should seek professional help about this... especially now that i have a little girl that loves to swing... and push swings when no one's on them... and then run away... leaving the swing swinging. i honestly have to stop and think about something else now...

Anonymous said...


Meagan said...

you absolutely crack me up...but, not knowing what is behind me, definitely enough to send me into a panic attack!

Bethany said...

I would like to think that "anonymous" is Indianna Jones himself. That, I am not afraid to say.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but try to spell my name right next time.