Fear is a word…

Just watched “Bowling for Columbine.” Just thinking out loud.

You know, my grandparents had their house broken into in the late 1970’s. They went away for the weekend and someone broke in and stole their TV set.

In the 1980’s the neighbor kid next door broke into our house with a friend and were in my room playing video games. They didn’t take anything, they just broke in and played games. The police tracked them down and one went to reform school.

At a slumber party in 1985, one of my friends stole about 10 playboys I had hidden under my bed in an old briefcase. That’s also a minor note and I never caught whomever did it (my mom ended up throwing them all away when we moved the next year).

I think my sister had her car vandalized in the 80’s and nearly 20 years ago someone stole our car while it was at the mall. We eventually got the car back and two kids went to jail.

In those 20 years, in the lifetimes of a few of my friends, no crime and no violence from strangers has happened to my family, my extended family or my friends.

But I’m afraid.

Seriously. I lock the doors at night. I live in one of the most remote spots in the country and I lock the doors at night. It’s not the bears that I’m afraid of, it’s someone, anyone out there, who might come in and take things from the house or hurt my family.

Had I not come down with a cold last week and had my dad’s back gone out, it would have been the first time in years that this house would have been empty. My folks were scheduled to go out of state to my grandpa’s 90th birthday and I was scheduled to go to Virginia for my work conference. All I could think of was “what if someone breaks in?” What would I do?

I hatched a plan in my mind to hide things. I mean we have computers up the wazoo here. They’re not really worth anything on the market today, but they work. I was thinking of hiding them in places burglars wouldn’t think of. But the again, someone breaks into the house and see’s gaping holes where an entertainment unit used to be … or a computer was … well, DUH, check the closets and find them.

I don’t own a gun. I think the big reason we don’t own weapons is that I’m afraid that one of us would accidentally shoot ourselves while handling it. My brother in law had a rifle when he was living here, but it was unloaded and we rarely saw it. I’m not actually against guns, if you want a gun, go for it. Do what you want with it. But I don’t think I’d be any less afraid than I am now if there were a gun in the house.

I mean seriously, if I had a gun and go on vacation, someone breaks in — how is that going to help me? They’d probably steal the gun too.

I mean if you’re smart enough to steal computers … guns would be extra candy on top of that.

But what am I afraid of?

What makes me so special that someone would want to break in here and ruin my life?

I’ve had death threats, sure. Nuts from online who want to kill me for doing my job. I wasn’t really scared of them since I know that 9 times out of 10 when someone online says they’re going to kill you, they’re a nut who has no intention of doing anything more than scaring you. But that 1 time out of 10 … well, maybe that’s what I’m afraid of.

Is it society? Is fear reflective of our value system? I don’t know.

I’m afraid to go to the mall. I’ll do it, but I hate it because there’s strangers there.

I’m afraid of losing my job. I do my job for the best of my ability; I often exceed capacities of those above me — but I say nothing when they’re rewarded or take credit for things I do. Why? Fear. Afraid of losing my job.

I’m afraid of getting lawsuits from people I write about here. I mean stories that are clearly parody and clearly just funny tales MAYBE 100 people see a month, I tend to keep toned down because I’m afraid of getting my butt sued and losing the site.

I’m afraid to take chances in relationships. Hell, afraid to try to pick a strange woman up. Afraid of rejection. Afraid to take the next step. Afraid to leave someone whenever the situation is bad. Afraid to let go because … well because what would I do if I’m alone in 10 years?

I’m afraid to tell people what I really feel. Why? Because they might get angry and yell. I hate yelling. I avoid it. I run from conflict. Why? I’m afraid. I’d hide under my desk if I could if it would make things go away.

Look at all this fear. I mean look at how screwed up my life has become out of “simple, everyday normal” fears. Can anyone explain it? Can anyone do anything about it? I’m a fairly normal guy. I live a normal life and I’m a lot less screwed up than many of the people I know … yet I’m a mess and there’s not a day that goes by when I’m not afraid of something.

Is this what life is supposed to be?

God only knows at this point. But I’m afraid to meet god, because if there is a god out there I’d only meet him through dying … and I’m afraid of dying. That scares me the most.

I guess I’m funny that way.