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I’m not the carefullest of girls

March 29, 2013

Scintilla Day 4: We exert control over ourselves and others in many ways. Talk about a time you lost that control. This can go beyond the obvious emotional control into things like willpower, tidiness, self-discipline, physical prowess… any time that you felt your autonomy slipping away.

You remember the first time it happened. Sitting in the passenger seat, feeling your throat start to close. It reminds you of the days you used to sit up all night until 7AM, afraid to go to sleep without the sun to watch over you.

It happens more often than you care to admit. One minute you’re fine. The next, you are sure you’re dying. Afraid to eat, too wired to sleep. You think everything and anything is wrong with you. This fear most often strikes while you’re eating, and it’s a big part of why you do that less and less these days. Sometimes it creeps up on you on the train, making your body shake nervously. You’re afraid to be trapped underground, afraid to feel your throat close up, your skin start to itch. You imagine collapsing in the middle of the car, an interruption to everyone’s busy, important day.

Nothing is wrong with you. You have to shake the fear. You wonder if, all these years later, it’s your brain and body misfiring after all the things you’ve done to it. You hope not.


He’s dead, but you still see his face. You think of the gaping, the yawning maw of years ahead without him. And in that time, in that time everyone else will drop away as well. When he died, it was the first time you thought about that. You expect parents and grandparents to go. Somewhere in the back of your mind the fear is always there that these people, the ones whose blood swirls inside of you now? They’re all on the way out. You are too. But you never think about their contemporaries. Or yours. And how painful that will be, to lose each one of them. You wonder if that has something to do with all of this. That fear to make any sudden moves, take any risks. You didn’t used to be like this, so there must be some connection. An awareness of your body’s aches and pains, its mortality, the time closing in on you.

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