Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Anxiety of the Red Witch

1. Fear that you are a tedious person.

2. Fear that other people know exactly what you are going to say before you say it.

3. Fear that you will never find and eradicate the place in your brain where all your coherent thoughts perish before reaching your mouth.

4. Fear that you have already told this anecdote to the person you are talking to and are now repeating it to their annoyance and disinterest.

5. Fear that you will begin breathing very heavily while doing a simple task such as walking up the stairs. Fear that no one will understand that you're not ridiculously out of shape...you just have asthma.

6. Fear of laughing loudly and without discernible cause in a public place.

7. Fear of being called on the general and stupid statements you make due to nervousness.

8. Fear of being backed into a conversational corner.

9. Fear that people will think you are an odd, rude and aloof bitch just because anxiety prevents you from getting phrases like 'Hi, how are you?' or 'God Bless You' or 'Fine, thank you' out of your mouth no matter how hard you try to say to them.

10. Fear that a relative, friend or associate will ask you a jovial question about your social life. You don't have one.

11. Fear that a bird is going to fly into your head.

Now a notation outside the numbered pattern: This weekend the Film Forum is showing 'The Shootist' as part of its Don Siegel marathon and being a diehard John Wayne fan, I had planned to go see it. Now this is causing me a great deal of anxiety because I fear a repeat of the horrifyingly unstoppable sobbing that accompanied my previous viewing of the film and the embarassing consequences of doing this in a public place. There is a possibility I won't cry because I am generally not a film crier, but then again this film falls into my four 'Definite Possibility of Tears, Slight Chance of Breakdown' categories i.e. heartfelt ending to a John Wayne film (True Grit, Sands of Iwo Jima, Red River, The Shootist), haunting Civil War music (Young Mr. Lincoln, They Died With Thier Boots On), Musical Overwhelm (Once Upon a Time in the West, The Searchers, The Good, The Bad & the Ugly) or Quality Overwhelm (Gentleman Jim, From Here to Eternity).
So, shall I risk public humiliation by going and possibly crying so loudly I will be forced to run out of the theater choking on my tears or stay safe by sitting in my room like a sad inactive excuse for a human being? Decisions, Decisions!



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