Sunday, November 23, 2014

Farewell, Kafka; Bye-bye, George Orwell.

Time for confession: we all have fears. Creepy crawly objects from the natural world, maybe standing up and making a speech in front of people, even laying bare our souls in a blog. It is only in the last year or two that I have stopped waking up in the middle of the night, terrified that I have to present myself in a university examining room to fill out sheets of paper with my collected wit and wisdom on a bunch of books I have never read. I guess that is common, and the reason this topic is best dealt with by the friendly neighborhood psychologist.

Fear seems to be part of a continuum. Imagine one of those annoying lines beloved of doctors, "On a scale of one to ten, where would you assess your pain?" I hate those, it is all so relative—or maybe it isn't and I should learn to play their game. In my continuum I start with apprehension, move on to concern, nervousness (as in, "Al, I am so nervous at the thought of you and your family driving up and down the Maryland mountains to come here for Thanksgiving"), pass through to being scared (That's when I am summoned into the workroom and asked to catch a piece of wood as it passes through this monstrosity.)
I would be more scared, but I have been doing it for many a year without any harm coming to me, the carpenter or the saw.

You have been waiting for me to pass through being terrified to arriving at petrified, and there is only one part of life that pretty much guarantees I'll wet my pants.

I am turning more and more into an on-line shopper, no longer a luxury but more of a necessity in these wet, snowy and cold days of winter. I'm not always comfortable handing over my credit card number, but there are a few safeguards and the amount of money concerned is usually not too frightening (that's another synonym. Wonder why there are so many?) Staring at a site like this represents the end of my continuum.

Normally I would double those numbers, even triple and add on a car, though maybe I wouldn't mean to. What if I had made reservations at a hotel for a different month? The possibilities for mistakes are endless, especially now that I am a little more careless and forgetful.

Or maybe that is what petrifies me.

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