So what’s your greatest fear?
I’m sure if I actually posed this question to people on the street, they’d probably think I was asking the wrong question (or merely run away from the bald-headed, scary-eyed, tattooed, shoulders-as-padding, Ironside-esque creature known as Greg). In a world that goes along to get along in so many ways, keeping the smile up and insulating your reality with topical illusions is a hell of a lot more comforting.
It’s funny how even when I ask myself this question, I’m remarkably bereft of fear now. I figure life’s pretty much thrown a whole shit-against-the-wall motif at me for years and years and years and numbed me down. Fuck it. You’ve won. I concede. There’s no sorrow or self-pity. It’s just vacant. It’s just quiet and accepting. Throw-caution-to-the-wind and never asking questions about whether I should or shouldn’t. I don’t care. Your judgments are more lame and sad than even remotely interesting. I’m doing what I do and I don’t care if you like it or not. You can throw it all at me again.
For anyone who has spent even a modicum of time in a mental place where all you can think of is What Has Gone Wrong and what a fuck-up you are, getting out of it is like being re-born. It’s like looking into a rearview mirror and seeing a major car crash you just got out of with your life intact. You suddenly feel grateful and liberated in profound ways. You’re still, at your heart, the person you’ve always been. But while facing your darkest fears and most vengeful, angry hopelessness, it’s hell that has a purpose. Letting yourself feel the anger you repressed in the name of bullshit, self-defeating conformity, you re-awaken. It’s like escaping The Matrix, only without sexy digital rainfalls and cool-looking Berettas.
It can be summed up very clearly: I’ve got nothing to lose but fear itself.
It’s funny, but looking back on things, I wish I was the man I am today while I attended Queen’s (here, reader, is a sidebar).
Back then, I was naïve enough to believe that respect comes out of initiative alone. But, as Toby Young acutely observed, respect is incredibly hard to earn and insanely easy to tear down. To win at the game of life, you pretty much have to bust your ass to achieve your own ends—nobody, and I mean nobody, cares what you do unless it directly affects them. That’s probably the best lesson Queen’s taught me: people aren’t born good or bad, but self-interested first and foremost. I guess I should be thankful. I probably would have saved myself some grief if I let myself be myself, not caring what people thought, instead of caving into fears and insecurities back in those days. But hey, what can you do. Not as if it all matters now anyway.
Hey, this might have a whiff of bitterness, but really, do you think the world owes you anything? Hell, I’ve taken more than enough to know that finding good things and people in this world is like finding a rare, out-of-print book or an 8 mm film loop from 1972 – you’re damn lucky if you find them.
Alright, so back to those fears. About the only truly paralyzing fears I haven’t experienced yet (and hopefully never will) are the horrors of a) actual, real life combat in a war zone, b) make-work camps designed from the minds of dictators and sadists, and c) prison life (although you can make a case high school wasn’t that far off).
So here’s the deal. Writing an honest, true-to-form post on here hasn’t been my style for a long, long time. I write about stuff that mostly informs my interests and amuse people with casual, off-the-cuff remarks about technolust items like the iPhone. Welcome to my world of blogging.
But, since this is a public blog and people actually read this blog sometimes, I still have to censor my thoughts, given Google’s tendencies to archive everything for all digital eternity. I can’t really say what I want to say all the time. Can anyone, really? If people knew what others really thought about each other, there would be a lot more murders and crime, R.I.P. George Carlin.
My only non-paralyzing fears left are essentially snakes (I hate those slithering creatures, can’t stand them) and heights, even though the heights thing has gotten better recently. Besides that, it’s all pretty simple now.
I don’t fear.