June 19, 2011
By Anonymous

I have been afraid of murders all my life. I have no idea why. Not a clue. It is completely and utterly beyond me why every night when I turn out the light and while I make my usual panic stricken lunge through the unfathomable darkness for my bed there is some tiny voice all the way in the way back of my head that’s saying, “You know, you could be killed. Right now… Or now. I'm not saying anyone is trying to kill you. Just that, if they were, they’d probably do it right now. ” So far, the only way I’ve ever found to appease this voice and soothe it into somnolence is to dive into the sea of comforters on top of my bed and to seize the sheets as though my life depends on it, which in my paranoid mesonoxian mind, it does, and roll back and forth until I’ve formed a chrysalis-like cocoon where, deep underneath layers of cotton and down, I can convince myself an axe murderer could simply never penetrate.
This fear has become a bit of an obsession for me. I’ve read about Ted Bundy and John Wayne Garcy. I’ve watched midnight History channel documentaries about Elizabeth Bathory and then later found myself staring at the ceiling at 3 in the morning, regretting it. It’s like a bad habit that I can’t get rid of, like biting your nails. I know it’s bad for me and I really shouldn’t indulge it but somehow, unconsciously, I always come back to it. I’ll space out during class and realize that instead of learning about the last hundred years of American foreign policy I've been subconsciously planning a trap for potential murders which includes several concave cosmetic mirrors with convenient suction cups on the back, a laser pointer, duct tape, flashlights, a remote control car and the second to top step on the upstairs staircase, which sags and whines when anyone over eighty pounds forgets to step over it, and lots and lots of string.
Logically, I blame my fear on Darwinism. See, thousands and thousands of years ago, when food was getting scarce, and my wonderfully anxious ancestors saw the other cave people eyeing their food and noticed them getting that crazy look in the their eyes and so they rightfully got the hell out of there. And so they survived to have similarly paranoid children, who also survived to have children and so on and so forth.
Which bring us to me, a twenty first century girl through and through. I have my iPod and my laptop. I shower safely in my bathroom with broiling hot water and chemical ridden shampoo. I buy my highly processed food at a 24-hour Stop ‘n Shop and the closest I’ve ever been to being prey is playing dodgeball in gym class. I currently have very little use for my survival instincts. And yet, here I am, at three in the morning, writing this essay. Because I can’t sleep. Because of the murderers.
Fear is a very interesting emotion. There is hardly anything more deeply rooted in our physiology and so, as an innate and integral part of us, it is extremely hard to overcome. I know my fear of murderers is irrational, and since looking up the statistical probability of my actually being murdered I am really truly acutely aware of just how irrational it is. Even so, that doesn’t make it go away. The fear of my impending doom is so deeply entwined with my will to live that any attempt to cut off one threatens to damage the other, leaving me paralyzed. So I accept my fear. And I live on knowing that I can’t suppress this. It is not a problem I make go away simply with persistence and an unyielding attitude, as so many have before it. So I walk along side my fear. I bring it with me. And though I'm sure I have many sleepless nights to look forward to, I will still be up in the morning, with a strong cup of coffee in hand, looking forward to the rest of the day.

The author's comments:
and yes, if youre going to ask, i really did write this at three in the morning

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