Yeah, so do you like to watch scary movies? I do. Never used to, but I do now. Mostly from the comfort of my own couch so that I can loudly groan or predict the grizzly outcome at any given moment if it's, you know, too tense. I can also dramatically roll my eyes and groan at cliché hero-stumpers or throw my hands up in "been there done that" disgust and go to another room.
Not so cool to do any of that in a theater.
Anyway - the best scary movies get a person all hyped up and caught in the moment and just waiting for the bad guy to come leaping out... at... any.... second. The heart pounds, the inner wild beast is tensed for the fight (or the flight) and the skin crawls with sympathetic electricity.
But, like, do you ever feel that way just for no reason? Like you're sitting there watching Scrubs and your body starts to get all tense and prepared for... oh, maybe the oven exploding? Like, you're sitting there and you get this overwhelming feeling that BLAM something really loud and horrible is about to happen? Just typing away and you get the notion that uh-oh, the second floor of the house is about to BLOOSH burst into apocolyptic flames.
It stands to reason that this happens to me all the time, I guess. I'm sure it as nothing at all to do with how my brother used to get such a kick out of scaring the bejeezus out of me when I was a wee-bairn. Heh. He thought it was cute and funny, and I was frankly never smart enough to figure out something on the order of: hmm, maybe if I hear giggling and held breath around the corner that someone's gonna jump out at me. I'm similarly sure it has nothing at all to do with my current state of non-employ. And clearly this whole control-freak-meets low-grade-depression thing is a totally unrelated whatevergrumblesomething.
Regardless, I do have an almost cellular loathe of startling loud sounds. Duh, we all do. But for me it seems to be much more of a burr in my saddle than for most people. That pre-movie VwwwooooooOOOOOOMMMM thing that they do "the audience is listening" is supposed to be an exciting, riveting, cool experience - and yet for me it just triggers visceral anger and hate and the feeling of manipulation (another sensation which I reject fairly aggressively.) I hate balloons because they pop so unexpectedly and don't even get me started on those cans of biscuit dough. GNARGH! You know the ones I mean. There should be defibrillator paddles in every can.
So there I sit. Cozy on my couch on a perfectly comfy evening and the back of my head starts going "dude, the oven is going to explode like, any second now." Or I'm taking a shower and I start getting that "don't close your eyes or the burgler is going to come in and blow a trumpet in your ear and then laugh at you because you startled and then otherwise horribly kill you to death." Stuff like that. It's lots of fun up in this head of mine, I tell ya.
It's so strange. I know it's absurd, I know it's irrational, and I can talk myself out of (and in to) just about anything. Yet over the course of my life this little... whatever it is... seems to be digging in it's heels and getting more and more creative. Maybe it's displaced worry since I don't have kids. You know? Maybe since I don't have to fret over my toddler being snatched or stolen or bashed to a thousand peices in some ghastly way, my DNA is getting bored and thinking of other stuff to get all 'het up about.
Sometimes, like today for instance, just the phone ringing makes me jump out of my socks.
Othertimes, I can be at a birthday party and when the balloon DOES (inevitably) pop, it's no big thing. It's almost like being afraid of the dark, in that it's a fear of something that feels inevitable yet unpredictable and un-knowable. The only way to get past it is to continue to repeat little mantras like: there's nothing there, the oven isn't going to explode, the moon isn't going to land on my house and the basement is still devoid of zombies.
Why can't I just be petrified of foreigners and cancer like the rest of the world?