The Mystery of the Haunted Vampire

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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

What frightens you?

Avery Walker, managing editor of Raw Story, asks in a column, But, What Are You Frightened of Today?

I’d like to take this opportunity (and I generally do as I like,) to ask you a very important question: What frightens you? I don’t mean what methods of death are least appealing. I mean, what scares you? I know that in these dark days, when any chicken dinner could be your last, and Karl Rove stalks freely through the shadows, it's difficult to go beyond the obvious, but please give it a shot. Fear defines so very much of what we do, and as a result, a large portion of who we are. I’ve always been a fan of horror. I know that style snobs turn their nose up at the genre, but since I'm personally frightened by closed minds, that only serves to enhance my experience. Other people, of course, are simply too in tune to their own fears to give a toss about imaginary ones. Some have been rendered so sensitive just by daily life that they cannot bear to subject themselves to make-believe thrillers. I’ve used public transportation; I can relate. I'd like to think that all of my readers join with me in fearing those so sheltered that even a flash of plastic fangs projected on celluloid is disturbing to their sensibilities. So, let's proceed for a moment on the assumption that nothing is so telling of a people as the fears they share.
For all of my love of horror, what truly frightens me is not ghosts - I go on ghost hunts with a gleam in my eye - or personal danger - I've had enough guns pointed at me to know I tend to get highly alert rather than frightened in such situations. No, what truly frightens me is the extremely mundane, ordinary dangers that might face my children. I fear leaving the basement door open while downstairs doing the laundry even though it can be awkward to open the door while holding a full laundry basket on the narrow landing. I have a morbid fear of my almost 2 year old falling down the stairs. I fear the treehouse I built them for the same reason though I tried to make it as safe as possible. I fret about the trap door and remind them to close it when they are above, but not to close it when someone might be climbing up. I find myself holding back words though out of fear of stifling their fun and I hover like a Secret Service agent when they're on the monkey bars at the playground. I cannot imagine anything more awful, more nightmarish, more torturous than losing a child. Yet for all my fear I try to be mindful of their need to grow and have independence and develop. Being a parent is more scary than any vampires. There is nothing better than holding them close. No treasure, no hedonistic pleasure, nothing can compare to the joy they bring. I just want to hold them and keep them safe and I imagine that is how just about all parents around the world are. So count me in the coalition against the harming of children.


Blogger protected static said...

Talk about "Things that Should Not Be", eh? I can't even begin to adequately express my rage...

11/10/2005 01:40:00 AM  
Blogger FARfetched said...

I'm with you, Carnacki. What I did when my son started climbing -- literally before he could walk -- was to hover. I'd let him climb up, and encourage him when he was stuck ("you get up, you can get down"), and be ready to catch him in the event he *did* fall.

He learned he could get out of what he got into, and a totally overwhelming amount of self-confidence came along with it. Too much, I think sometimes.

11/10/2005 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger Bella said...

You know what? I wake up still at least three times during the night to check on my daughter. She's twelve and I shutter at the thought of anyone harming her. I am so afraid that someone will climb through her window. She likes to open it and sleep with the window open but I am so dead against it even though we are on the second floor. I don't care what floor we are on, she will never sleep with the window open. We even had to chose an apartment where her room was close to us.

11/10/2005 01:32:00 PM  

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