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“We fear violence less than our own feelings. Personal, private, solitary pain is more terrifying than what anyone else can inflict.” Jim Morrison
As an adult, the things I’m truly afraid of have definitely changed from when I was a child. Except for my fear of clowns. I had a negative experience at the tender age of four that I’ve never been able to fully shake. It was during a town parade, and a clown had a fake raven latched to his hand (why????) and he held it out to me. Being four, I reached out to pet it, and all I remember is the guffaws from the surrounding crowd. I instantly felt shamed and angry and have thenceforth always had a thing about clowns. They’re not nice. Plus, when I was a small child, velvet paintings were still in vogue, and I have clear visions of the crying clown, his white makeup and broad painted red smile streaked with the tears running down his cheek. That is just creepy.
But aside from the clowns, my list of Stuff I’m Afraid Of has diminished at the same rate that my list of Stuff That Pisses Me Off has increased. I’m no longer afraid of vampires, witches, or my boss. My adult fears mainly consist of shitty drivers (why does no one completely STOP at a stop sign anymore?), dying before I’m ready, and anything I find on WebMD as I’m searching things like “fatigue” and “back pain”. And having surgery of any sort.
Because I have feet, well, I have this foot, which is getting evermore crookeder with age. It’s probably going to need some attention at some point. And as I’ve mentioned previously, I have a medical condition known as “Chronic Shitty Shoulder” which now seems to be in a state of degeneration that is going to need to be dealt with soon, like really soon.
And knowing about how and where my body is bent, damaged and broken means I know I may need surgery at some point. And it’s anesthesia that freaks me the fuck out. Not because it effectively takes one to the closest you could be to death without actually dying. But because of what I might say.
See, I apparently talk a lot of shit when I’m under the influence of anesthesia. I had minor surgery in my early 20’s, and the anesthesiologist was a very kind and flamboyant man, who, with his purple scrubs, definitely made me less fearful of surgery with his humor and playfulness. I have no recollection about being put under, but I do clearly remember this gentleman patting me on the shoulder as I was coming to and whispering in my ear with a grin, “Don’t worry, sweetie, you didn’t talk…MUCH.”
WHAT DID I SAY??? I still have no idea. Did I comment on his purple scrubs? Did I talk about my fear of having breast cancer? Did I say something supportive, like “You’re gay and gay is okay!” I just hope I didn’t utter something completely dumb like “Some of my best friends are gay!” Because we all know how silly and trite that is.
I had another invasive surgery in my mid-20s. And I learned after the fact that once the anesthesia started, I asked for my mom. And apparently before I was completely out, I babbled about a lot of stuff to her, real and fictional. NONE OF WHICH SHE WILL MENTION, REFER TO, OR DETAIL IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.
Considering how busy and complicated life has become since my 20’s, full of responsibilities and stress and love and obligations and living and the occasional semi-regular frequent fantasies about the fabulous life of leisure I’m leading somewhere so very far from here, if I were delivered to a state of semi-consciousness, I have no idea what I might start talking about. But I am willing to wager I would rather blab about my fictional torrid affair with Orlando Blume than my non-fictional efforts to get my five-year-old to go to bed at a reasonable hour.
So I will request, in the event that anesthesia is required for any procedures I may need in the future, that my shit talking is discounted and that I not be allowed to request the presence of anyone, not even my mom. Especially my mom.