Saturday, September 07, 2013

Sometimes Fear Overwhelmes Me

Sometimes fear overwhelms me. The other day my son, Marco, was listening to me go on about how much I had to get done and how impossible it was going to be to do it because I spend hours a day strapped to my IV tubes and then this sciatica kicked in making it impossible to walk 20 steps and each of those was excruciating. When I finished he looked at me and said something like: "Do you know that when we look at you, I mean your family and other people who know you, and we see you have three stories to write, the lawn to mow, tickets to get for guests for Peru, and a million other things, we know you'll get them done. You're like superman. So what if your leg is bad and the other leg is killing you and you have to clean the house and you can't even walk. We know you'll do it. When the infection was eating your leg you still took your group out to the jungle. And sometimes that's why we don't help: You never look like you need it."
   I nearly laughed. If only he saw me the way I see me: That decent 10-year old who lost all the fights he was in as a kid; the 14-year old who was scared to death when I was jumped by three kids, so scared I didn't even fight back; the 16-year old who was terrified of Chris Barker for two years over Diane Zirilli. That's who I see a lot of the time. And I guess I've learned to fake it, and I guess I have picked up some courage and stick-to-it-ness somewhere along the line, but other times, like today, the fear comes and hits me right across my soul.
   I was driving. Going nowhere in particular, just driving to get out of the house. I sometimes feel like a prisoner here with this bum leg and especially with the pinched nerve in the other leg, and a former guest came over and wants to do ceremony tonight, so I thought I'd take a drive and clear my head for it.
   And while I was driving I stopped at Home Depot and got out of the truck to buy my son Italo a wheelbarrow. I walked to the wheelbarrows that were outside the store, picked one out, then turned around and went back to the truck and left. It felt like too much work.
    Then I drove to Walmart to buy some bottled water for the ceremony, if needed, got out of the car, walked halfway to the doors, then turned around and got back in the car and left.
    On the way home I drove down a country road I don't remember ever being on. Lovely, curving road lined with trees, miles and miles long. And I almost turned around on that because I suddenly pictured my truck breaking down and me not being near help. I didn't though.
    Still, I thought about that and realized that neither the wheelbarrow or the bottled water were too much work. I was just scared. Scared that I wouldn't know how to buy them, scared that I was just lost. Scared that my leg is never gonna get better. Scared that I don't know anything. Scared that I am supposed to run ceremony tonight for someone who needs it and who the hell am I to call on the spirits, to ask them for help? And what about the person who is thinking I can? I'm just fooling! I want to scream. I'm just kidding you and me and everybody else! I'm nobody! Nobody!
    And I'll work out of it, but for a little while now that fear has got its goop all over me.


Jenni said...

Er... I hope it's not too creepy that a random stranger from "a certain forum" follows this blog, but I'm glad and relieved to see you posting again. Wishing you a fast and complete recovery.

Peter Gorman said...

Jenni: Not at all. I depend on random strangers to read my blog. Thanks for tuning in. I hope it's entertaining. And thank you for the good wishes. I'll take as many as I can get.
Peter G