growing up

Day 12: The City Mouse

Remember that Aesop fable about the country and city mice? I mean, of course you do, they even made a Tom & Jerry episode about it. Well, growing up in Colorado, there were farms everywhere and I always wanted to live in one when I grew up. A cute little red farm with cows and chickens and I would have a dog to run around and be cute and chase sticks and I’d maybe have a lake on my farm and I could go out on a little boat in the summer and read. I’m not sure who I thought would be doing all the farm work, but those are silly details. And I would enjoy iced tea on the porch and birds would chirp and I would listen to the baseball game on the radio and look out on my lake and my cows and my chickens as a light breeze would blow through my hair. That’s it. That’s the dream. And the nightmare. Let’s get on with Camp Nano project: Question of the Day. Day 12.

What Is Your Silliest Fear?

source: here

I grew up in a suburb in a field in an area in Colorado that couldn’t even decide if it was Westminster or Broomfield. The first few years we lived there, we didn’t even have a paved road into our neighborhood. The neighborhood itself was paved, just nothing else around it. The whole thing was built at once for the most part and they had even laid out a golf course behind our house. There was just no one to take care of it so it just turned into really tall grasses and sand traps and snakes and that’s where we adventured.

Because almost everyone moved there at the same time and almost everyone was a new family, there were about 20 of us kids all within a couple year age range and we grew up together like that all the way through high school. I’m still in touch with a bunch of them to this day now that I think about it, and that part has nothing to do with my fear. I’m getting there though.

Okay, so you’ve got this overgrown golf course that leads into a field for miles and miles and miles on nearly all sides and there was a lake that would freeze over in the winter and we would all go skating on it and someone’s dog fell through once (don’t worry, he was saved) and I remember they dragged it one year, because I’m of the belief that they were looking for a dead body but that probably isn’t what was happening.

I remember one morning waking up to cows mooing outside my bedroom window and my dad yelling. I sat up and looked out my second story window and saw hundreds of rogue cows eating everyone’s lawns. They had broken through a fence at their farm a couple miles away and descended upon our little suburbia with ruthless abandon. I thought it was the funniest thing I had ever seen. Good job, cows. This part also isn’t related to my fear.

There was never a shortage of kids to play with and we generally all played together, either in one big group or in smaller side stories, but there was never NO ONE to play with. One of our favorite games was dark hide and seek. We would go outside after dinner and play hide and seek in the dark. And it got dark out there. And we felt like spies!

And then there were times in the late afternoons, just after the sun had set that we’d be out in the golf course playing in the tall grasses and jumping snakes when all of a sudden I would turn around and everyone was gone and I was alone in the big vast space and the panic would set in. It’s not that I couldn’t see the kids all off in the distance walking back to their houses, and my houses was right there, but I was so far away. And alone. And I would run as fast as I could to catch up to them, and I’m not entirely sure what I was scared of but it felt like that one scene in Poltergeist where the mom is running, trying to get to the bedroom door but it just keeps getting further and further away. Like that.

I still have that panic. Someone once told me it sounded like agoraphobia and I’m not sure that’s it? But to be fair, I haven’t really researched it. I’m not scared of going or being in places where people are. Even if I don’t know anyone. I mean, I get anxious about it sometimes but, that’s just me with my anxiety nonsense, but it’s not that terrified panic like I need to run somewhere. I have never ever felt the feeling in a crowd of people. It’s when there aren’t any people and I’m not where I need to be. I couldn’t even tell you what I’m even afraid is going to happen if I stay somewhere alone. I mean, I can be in my house alone, I love that, but like alone in an office building? Or in a pool? Full-on Poltergeist hallway panic. I even feel the panic when I start thinking about space or when my husband and I were talking about flying to Maui.

And that’s why I could never live on a farm. Maybe not even in a big house. I’m apartment people. Because I’m a city mouse. I need people. I would never make it in an apocalypse, obvious reasons aside like I’m not drinking fish tank water, or eating my neighbor’s cat, but ALSO because I don’t know how long I could handle being alone.