Fear comes wearing many different masks. There is the evolutionary fear of wild animals. There is the fear of performance (in bed). That is also evolutionary! There is fear of death, evil bosses and powerful people, of old age and poverty, of biting tongues and invisible (invincible?) pathogens. Another frightful disguise is the panic that rises with promethean suddenness when, 38000 feet above ground, your plane starts to wobble. You wonder how long before you hit the ground (or water) and then it’s all over. At least that sort of fear will go puff like a folder being extinguished on a Mac. But what about the fear that sticks to you closer than the proverbial shadow: the fear of plunging your soul and coming face to face with Its Royal Darkness, your subconscious?
Brief parentheses: imagine you were to awake from a rousing snooze to find yourself alone. Not just alone in your bed or alone in your abode but alone in the whole wide world. And however much you rub your eyes and slap your face there really is not a single soul to be seen or heard; the streets are empty of movement save for swaying trees, overwrought pets and mercenary urban foxes. There are no Twitter feeds, no Facebook updates and two hundred TV channels emit a walled noise of stark whiteness. It’s as if an alien race abducted everyone and left you behind, perhaps, out of mischief.
Why this dystopian revelry? I sometimes wonder why I resist keeping a journal. Would it not be a joy, twenty years hence, to reopen my notes and fall into a world that I’d completely forgotten; yet one without which there could be no present? Dingle, dingle. At the back of my mind hangs the bell that rings a shrill alarm; to commit to black and white and then, like all secrets, be uncovered and exposed to the sun beaming down rays of shame? [In truth I once tried to keep a journal but what banality!].
Now if there was a crag solid guarantee that no one in the world could possibly ever read my scribblings … then I may just be willing to descend down the rabbit hole; down the foreboding steps to explore beneath my conscious mind where awaits me god knows what but surely the richest skein of self-discovery that I could possibly know as long as I lived. So there, if every human could be made to disappear ….
[I’d be scared shitless]