Sunday, November 27, 2016
What is my greatest fear?
What if I wrote the truth, about who I really am? All those little secrets I keep from even my closest friends, relatives, children, parents, spouse… What if I turned myself inside-out?
The problem with turning myself inside-out is my insides are very messy: no boundaries, no social etiquette, often driven by basic instincts and not higher functions. The problem with turning myself inside-out is my insides are selfish, self-centered, self-consumed.
I once knew a man who had no self-control. He suffered from head trauma, a concussion that compressed his frontal lobe. He was charming and disgusting, all at the same time. There were no secrets for him. Where I have a toll road, this fellow had a freeway between his thoughts and what came out of his mouth.
His life was very difficult. He would tell people he wanted to kill them, when really it was just a passing thought, a brief spark, neuronic noise, fleeting, but hurtful once uttered.
He had no friends. None would tolerate his outbursts of raw emotion, his politically incorrect blurts, his thoughtless comments and passing passions. He had lots of lovers. Women seemed to flock to his open emotional state. He was as easy to read as the Sunday comics. But the women seemed to go as quickly as they appeared. I was told by several of his revolving-door female partners that he was a passionate lover. Being a man of more controlled passions, I once asked him how many women he had slept with.
“Too many to count,” he said sadly. “But, none of them stayed.”
“Did you ever want children?” I asked, afraid of his answer, that he might want to subject a child to his hectic cacophony of words.
“No,” he said, “though many of the women did.”
“Do you have children?”
“Not that I know of, but I’m sure some of the women I got pregnant decided to keep the baby.”
I bit my tongue. I wanted to harangue him about responsibility, about planned parenting, but I knew it would only hurt him, make him feel ashamed of his malady.
I often thought he would make a great fighter pilot, a world of pure reaction. And if I were ever in a battle, I would want him by my side. He would be the one knocking me down to avoid the bullet that I would take because I was frozen in thought, unable to act.
So there must be some balance, this inside-out thing, revealing myself to others. I would hurt many, I’m sure, if I told the truth about what I was thinking. But it saddens me, that I will not have someone to share my inner thoughts, my deepest, primal feelings.
I guess I am still afraid of letting myself out, inside-out. Maybe that’s why I write.