i realize that most people probably have strange or irrational fears. i mean, you can only watch your friend assiduously avoid coming too close to the pool filter so many times before it becomes apparent this is no coincidence, and wonder to yourself “what the hell am i doing hanging around with someone who’s afraid of a bloody pool filter?” but these are deeper questions than i hope to address here today.

of course there are also the grander, more fantastic yet still utterly groundless fears. my best friend in high school was absolutely convinced that mothman was haunting greater Gresham and its environs. apart from pointing out that mothman was an east coast spook if ever i had heard of one, there didn’t seem a tactful way of expressing my skepticism, so i mostly kept quiet. even when she would suggest taking a walk in the woods in the pitch dark and work herself into a shrieking head-ducking frenzy when the slightest shiver of wind should pass. good times!

and i held my tongue, not only because i am a natural diplomat (HA!) but also because, when it comes to random irrational fears, i have no room to talk.

to be fair, at least in the case of one of these uncommon phobias, there is a clear definable moment to which i can point and say: yep, that’s when i started being afraid of birds. all i can say in my own defense is that i defy anyone to remain unflustered after having a parrot LAND ON THEIR FACE AND HOLD ON WITH ITS BEAK. yeah.


the fish thing i have a slightly harder time justifying. i can only point to the following two things: they have murder in their cold little hearts. they would eat you if only you held still long enough and, sturgeon. seriously, that species alone is enough to send me into the hills with the screaming me-mes vowing never to put my toes in anything deeper than a washtub ever again.

the crowd fear makes sense to pretty much everybody. no one seems inclined to argue that humanity en masse can be scary. not everyone is driven to elbow jabbing panic, but they don’t look at me like i’m a looney. likewise, being creeped out by moths (the lightbulb humping kind, not the 6ft mythical rooftop landing kind) also seems reasonable to most folks. but for some reason, i just can’t help feeling like i have to explain to people that i am not crazy or weird just because i’m afraid of birds and fishes.

so there.