I’m a recluse. I’ll admit it. I don’t get out much unless it is to go to work, and even then I have to bargain with myself in the mornings to find motivation to get out of the door. Despite being in an industry where I interact with humanity on a daily basis, I don’t have many people in Ohio that I trust and visit on a semi-regular basis.
The life of a hermit is a quiet one, full of contemplation and week-long bouts of League of Legends games and month-long bad sci-fi binges. So, when I logged into WordPress to find that they had somehow found my blog and that I was in line to be featured on Freshly Pressed, I guess you could say I panicked.
And by “I guess you could say I panicked,” I mean “You definitely would have called 911.”
I’m a journalist. I’ve been working for a small, community newspaper for the past six years. This doesn’t mean I am used to having my work read in any way shape or form. Most the people who do comment only picked up the paper because I wrote an article about how they got hopped up on heroin and drove a car into their neighbor’s pond. Other people in the community love to inform me that despite the long hours I put in, “they don’t read the paper.”
Even writing on WordPress was a pretty solitary endeavor. Prior to the Mercury post going up on FP, I had one reader stop by in the past three days. At one point, while I was contributing entertainment reviews to Faceplant!, we did have quite a few regular readers… but then Elrood and I realized this was because the PR service Enosh accidentally signed us up for was actually filled with porn spam bots. I’m sure these bots were interested in movie reviews, but probably not the kind of movies we were writing about.
I realized this week that I have an irrational fear of being read by more than a few people. Or rather, I have a fear that I’m not going to be able to follow-up with another article anywhere near as good as the Mercury one. I’ll just file that one away with all the other fears I have.
The important thing about irrational fears is to push through them, regardless of the consequences. Sure, maybe any follow-up posts aren’t going to be so great, but to quote the movie Bad Santa, they can’t all be winners, kid.
Just for kicks, I’m going to post some of the other irrational fears I have:
- Bugs. Yes, I know… Me and everyone else on the planet or whatever. Those million-legged little bastards are pretty damn creepy. But for me, that’s all fine and good, they can have as many legs as they want. My problem comes from a fear that if I were to somehow move my fridge away from the wall, I’d find a four-foot long spider, ant or velociraptor back there that is seriously pissed about my recent aggressive plot to evict a colony of ants from my kitchen by spreading poison over every flat surface. I guess I’m not terrified of bugs so much as I am terrified of revenge.
Horses: Imagine if you were a horse. Yes, fine, I’ll wait a moment while you prance around your house making horse noises. Come back when you’re done. …Good? Excellent. Anyway, imagine that you are a large, muscular, hoofed monster animal, that some two-legged jerks like to cage up and ride around and force to do tricks. You know, deep in your horse brain, that your place is on the open prairie. The skulls of these interlopers belong under your hooves during your victory prance. Until that day, you just watch, staring with your cold dead eyes and waiting for the horse uprising. The next parade you march in will be a parade of blood.
- Being crushed by a meteor. There is a stretch of road between my apartment and work, and if a gigantic space boulder is going to smash me flat someday, that’s where it is going to happen. For some reason I have this thought every day when I pass that same stretch of road. I have no idea why.
- Fire. I’m not even sure why for this one. The best idea I can come up with is that during my childhood everyone liked to act like fire was some kind of vengeful god, just waiting to burn faces off nearby peasants. The proper way to handle fire, I was lead to believe, was to stare at the flickering flame obsessively, and any lapse in my vigilance would cause it to escape from its tiny prison to unleash vengeance upon an unsuspecting world. Candlelight services at church during Christmas were terrifying.
- Most illnesses. Having the internet, which is really just a large database about ways you can die, plus an overactive imagination has resulted in an unhealthy amount of hypochondria in my (probably diseased) brain (it’s gotta be anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis). There was a good stretch of time, shortly after I broke a rib from “sneezing too hard” (according to a random guy who was taking blood pressures on the street one day), that I experienced stabbing chest pains. When this first started, I quickly convinced myself I had breast cancer, despite being male. Awww yeah.
- The world ending while I’m on the toilet. I’m not really worried about the end of the world by itself. I’m just worried that when it finally comes, the only reason I will survive the nuclear blast/computer supervirus/horse uprising will be because I was sitting in the bathroom, oblivious to all these things. I would emerge the last person alive, wandering the country alone. Eventually I’ll come across a small group of survivors, fighters who exist only because they banded together and took the fight to the horses before the horses could bring the fight to them. They’ll ask me how I survived the end of the world. I’ll have to tell them “hamburger helper.”
- Driving. There’s too much trust involved in driving. You could be the safest driver in your state, but there’s no guaranteeing that a semi isn’t going to take a turn too fast and tip a whole load of battery acid on top of your poor car. The emergency crews would take the better part of the day digging through the wreckage to get to you, but by then you’ve dissolved down to a skeleton. You can’t even work as a skeleton in America, man. Talk about second class citizens.
Snakes. Seriously. Who thought those would be a good idea? OH YES, lets just go ahead and make a long, horrible long tube monster that has the ability to choke down creatures three times its size! Oh hey, lets let them grow to be EIGHT FEET long! While we’re at it, lets throw some poison in there too! That sure sounds GREAT.
It’s just… there are so many ways out there to get maimed. It’s not death that I find scary. It’s being inconvenienced. Most of these things are problems that I’d have to spend days or weeks worrying about. Who do you call to take care of four-foot tall bugs, rare diseases and humongous snakes? When my car gets wrecked by battery acid and meteors, where am I going to get cash for a new one? You can’t reason with monsters and dinosaurs. Your only real option is to put your house up for sale on the market and abandon ship. UGH, no one wants to deal with that.
So hey, welcome to everyone who started following this blog in the last three days! Glad to have you! For my part, I’ll keep writing articles as frequently as I can, and plod through these irrational fears.
That being said, if I ever see a titanic, horse riding velociraptor with fire and malaria breathing attack snakes, I’m going to pack it in.