Wednesday, February 23, 2005
(semi) irrational fear
It was years ago. I should be over this. But it's dark. There was a moon...almost full. I can see it, but there's no light down here on the back streets of the place I call home. There doesn't seem to be anyone moving tonight. Except, there's this feeling. That I'm being watched. As I walk to my car, I look over my shoulder. Continually. I must just be paranoid, right? A dark night, lonely streets, a chill in the air...it's the stuff of fiction. And thrillers. And you know what happens in thrillers. Just how far away is that damned car? It happened to him. What if I'm next? Or one of my friends? And then I hear it...there IS something there. I know it. Look now...dammit, I'm hearing things again. My brain is working overtime. I really AM getting paranoi... There is a moment of paralyzation. I can turn around, but my feet won't move and my arms are dead weight. My heart has stopped, I'm certain. My brain recognizes the shape...matches it with a picture in my brain. Sign, signifier, signified. My consciousness receives the message so slowly: not a threat. Just a person on a bike. Not headed for me. Not stalking me. My lungs start working just a beat after my heart. I'm still tense, but that probably the adrenaline, right? Take stock...I'm okay. Start walking again. Who knew a few blocks could be so far? But...I feel ashamed. Why am I still so damned nervous? It doesn't happen all the time. But once in a while... All this because I couldn't get the car in time to drive to an AIDS Walk Meeting.