Monday, February 18, 2013

Fear Itself: A False Concept

FEAR: For Every Average Revery

Fear: The Tool
Tonight, I was driving home from dropping off a friend. This evening has been a third installment of a roleplaying game that I've been holding with my friends Chucky and Steph (or Staph as my phone keeps insisting to call her). It's called Don't Rest Your Head and, if you can imagine it, is as if Sin CIty was built in Wonderland. Players portray normal people who suffer from an abnormal form of insomnia and end up going without sleep for months, leaving them capable of entering a horrifying city, destroyed and inhabited by monsters called Nightmares.

All in all, it's a fun game.

Now I am the one running the game, and while I have been rather proud of the past few sessions, this evening was fairly rough, but it is building up to a greater intense situation next game.

Fear: The Reality
Now, while driving home, I had the time to think, as my music was low and the GPS was guiding my way through unfamiliar territory. Let me set the scene: driving a truck in the dark night through heavily wooded areas with snow from previous storms spilling from their plowed position into the road. Welcome to the setup of a classic New England horror film. The drive gave me time to realize something.

I'm afraid. I'm afraid of several things.

I'm afraid of disappointing my friends and family and peers. I am afraid of my ideas being passed upon. I am afraid of not being recognized for something I have done and have pride in. I am afraid of finally admitting to the girl I have pined over for so long that these feelings exist.

I guess, overall, I fear failure.

Fear: The Irrational
While driving, several things were coming across my view, from glittering reflections in the snow, the shadows shifting with the onset of my headlights in the trees.

The greatest fear I possess besides the fear of failure is that of my own imagination. As I drove and viewed several unexpected instances of illusion. And my imaginations began to twist the world around me into a nightmarish creation. In a flash, I could see a creature, human only in appearance, falling to the hood of the truck and screeching like a banshee, and another moment, it would be gone, only to be replaced by the sound of incoherent muttering by a nonexistent spirit in my back seat.

Now, I may be an idiot, but I'm not so much an idiot to truly believe that the movement of shadows I see out of the corners of my eyes are anything but just that, but I am also aware of the nagging absurdity of the question "What if...?" which floats in the air whenever you try to assure yourself of the contrary.

As a writer, I clutch to that "What If" question. I opt for a, most likely, unhealthy immersion into this fearful delusion.

What if a creature really did fall upon my hood and it screeched at me?
What if I wasn't really alone in the truck, and an incoherent muttering filled the cab?
What if the shadows in the woods were truly a swarm following my path?

What if the Mad City from Don't Rest My Head proved true?

These fears are absolutely irrational, I know. But as a creative mind, if I can scare myself, then I should be able to scare others?

Fear: Partially Closed
Now, I am completely aware of reality and have a full grasp on it, and the fears that I focus on are those that are more firmly planted in everyday life. Mainly those mentioned about failure and loss. But when I want to write something to make others frightened and uncomfortable, I leave my rationality behind and decide to throw myself into these alternate versions of reality.

However, I'm afraid. I am afraid of a great many things.

But I do not fear admitting it.

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