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Heights, Rejection, Snakes, Spiders, Water, Tunnels, Failure, Death.

Fear has memorized every magazine in the hospital waiting room. It replaces the batteries in the smoke detector every six months. It tapes the Poison Control Center hotline number to every bottle of cleaning solution. It accessorizes with Kevlar and mosquito netting, no matter what the season. It buys insurance policies like other people buy baseball cards or magazine subscriptions. It is never less than 99.99% bacteria-free. It avoids every mode of transportation. It stocks its bookshelf with horoscopes, survival guides, and religious texts.

Fear throws rocks at your windows and lights matches in your attic. It kidnaps your children and sleeps with your spouse. It sprays pesticides on your produce. It gossips about you with your closest friends. It shoots heroin in public restrooms and urinates on the toilet seat. It knocks you up and steals your credit cards. It diagnoses you with cancer and AIDS and polio. It infiltrates your government and censors the Internet. It fixes you a salad of E. Coli spinach and doesn’t wash its hands. It invites you to lunch and eats you alive.

Fear runs the world’s biggest Ponzi scheme. It never complains about long lines at airport security checkpoints. It sells barbed wire and fire extinguishers. It burns Orwell and Twain and Blume and Fitzgerald. It bans turbans. It protects the sanctity of marriage. It builds camps to concentrate and exterminate. It conceals its handgun and kills vagrants as a public service. It manipulates the Constitution and the Bible in its sleep. It speaks no foreign languages. It breaks its alliances. It knows the nuclear launch codes, and is not afraid to use them.



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