I am sure we are all familiar with this frequent visitor. When he graces us with his presence, sweat oozes from the glands beneath our palms and our heart thumps like a roaring motor; our head spins and our stomach becomes a flutter. And in that moment, it’s like he gripped you so hard that your entire being turned white and your lips became pale blue from the shock he sent you into.
He is fear.
The fear that gnaws at us as we muster up the courage to speak to someone; the fear which bites us as we contemplate between reaction or silence. It is this fear we get when we wake up and realize we are late for school and it is also this fear we get when we realize we have done something pretty wrong.
Fear. Fear. Fear. As his name rolls on my tongue, I almost feel nothing. It’s like he doesn’t exist, which is funny because he obviously does. He just chooses to knock open our doors at the worst timings ever. It’s funny too, how knowing who he is, we still let him in. He just engulfs us like water, wave after wave until we are drenched and have nowhere else to go. And when that happens, we become but an emblem of ourselves, and “who we are” somehow gets lost along the way.
We can’t help it, can we? He controls our minds like Kilgrave and with just a few words, we seem to abide by his rule and allow ourselves to crumble beneath his feet as he fills us with anxiety. Sucking our souls up and putting us a few steps behind. We return to spot zero: our soon-to-be beginning and also, end.
But this can’t always be the case.
There must be some way his whispers don’t brush past our ears. There must be some way we don’t feel obliged to listen to what he has to say, knowing that all he has to say are a bunch of vile, futile insults that we shouldn’t bother to hear at all. There must be some way.
Maybe we can lock our doors.
No, he’ll just crawl in by the window, wouldn’t he?
Oh, so maybe we can lock the windows too.
Nope, he will drill through every fake wall in this house and don’t even say that you don’t have any fake walls because…we all do.
Or maybe what we can do is stack layers and layers of concrete beneath the floors of where we stand.
Maybe we can build those slabs up so high he won’t be able to physically come in .
And when that occurs, maybe the next time we hear from him, the only thing we will catch is a distant whimper in the applause all around.