My Biggest Fears


Plenty of people in this world are scared of things that cause genuine terror, but thatÕs just the start for me.  IÕm afraid of simple things like not turning my music on at exactly 59 minutes so that the music stops at a time ending with a 5 or zero.  Or of the serial killer that I am positive is just waiting to chase me up the stairs immediately after I turn out the light.  My mom tried to tell me that itÕs just my imagination, but I think sheÕs in on it because I can definitely hear him climbing the stairs just a little slower than my record-breaking sprint and she always makes me turn off the light while she is safe in bed.  While other people are scared of snakes and spiders—and you should be too, those things are terrifying—IÕm making sure that I repeat everything over and over after IÕve read it or heard it so that thereÕs no way that I forget it because what if thereÕs a test on how many times they showed a picture of a shark on the Shark Week commercial aired last Tuesday?


I canÕt go to circuses or out to a carnival anymore because I KNOW that those clowns are just waiting waiting for me to look away and get distracted so they can shove me in their impossibly spacious tiny car and drive to their clown base and keep me as a pet or turn me into some kind of delicious human-kabob. And donÕt you dare say that itÕs just a regular person underneath all that make-up and costuming, because any person who has to paint a smile on their face is definitely some kind of sociopath.


With all my irrational tics and tendencies, I really shouldnÕt be let out to interact with crowds of people, which, by the way, is another number on my list.  ItÕs not because I canÕt talk to others or have agoraphobia or anything but because I have imaginary conversations in my head between the people that I see, and I KNOW that either the people around me are all telepathic or IÕm somehow projecting my thoughts to everyone else like Professor Xavier, because they look at me like IÕm some kind of crazy person after I make some wild accusation about that guy over there that IÕve named Jim and how he likes to bathe in tartar sauce while wearing a Little Mermaid costume.


By now youÕre probably thinking, ÒWho the hell is this wackjob that is afraid of the most ridiculous elaborate scenarios and why is he not in a strait jacket in some padded room? Also, I want to be him, because his fantasies sound awesome!Ó  Well, IÕm not trying to melt your faces with revelations like that Nazi in Raiders of the Lost Ark.  IÕm telling you, you all know that having a little irrational fear is good.  And if you just ignore everything IÕve said well, IÕll be laughing in my extremely secure snow fort in upper Canada when youÕre in some clownÕs basement being told to put the lotion in the basket.


© Bradley Bartz


Bio:  Bradley Bartz studies Christian Ministry and is involved in creative writing and slam poetry at Concordia University St. Paul.