Friday Night Story


I’ve never liked noises, loud ones in particular. I don’t mean so loud they hurt the ears, because no one really likes that, but, just louder than usual: the clacking of plates as one puts them away, the barking of the neighbor’s dogs breaking inside my home. I don’t particularly like dogs, for that matter. I’ve never understood the desire to supplement one’s family with furred creatures; perhaps as an infant without family I was conditioned to do without such ornamentation.

I’ve lived a solitary life, in large part because of an irrational fear of fuzzy things, ranging from rats to the elderly. And you’d assume, as parts of me sometimes did, that knowing that a fear is irrational would help you cope with it, that you could explain to yourself the utter insanity of responding so strongly to something so small, but of course, by its very nature it’s immune to such reasoning.

I can’t count, as much from repression as from the seeming enumeration, the times this has seen me ostracized by my peers. I can’t joke self-deprecatingly that I had no social life, or that I was denied the opportunity to develop social skills, quite the opposite; I had a very active social life indeed, consisting mainly of constant vilification. I’ve never been in love; I’ve never even had a friend, and I can’t blame the rest of humanity for this, as my seemingly infantile behavior even pushes me internally away from them.

I’m not- I don’t want to mislead you; I’m not a doctor. I don’t like doctors; I don’t know why, exactly, it’s just an… instinct I feel. But I’ve started myself on a, a nuanced term would be a probiotic diet. That’s not strictly true, because toxoplasma gondii is a protozoa. It’s been shown in mice to attack the amygdala, poisoning the ability of a mouse to fear its natural predators. It’s actually a very elegant way for toxoplasma to spread itself.

My improvised cure has changed me. I don’t know that I want to interact more with humanity; I’ve almost learned to enjoy my solitude. Conversely, I’ve found my sex drive increased, coupled or perhaps paralleled with an unexplainable drive to insert strange objects into my mouth (which I’ve heard described as “hyperorality”- but which I assume is a word created for and by the internet).

Fear in childhood, and when growing up, is a good motivator, and an excellent advisor. But when one reaches a certain point in development, fear loses its usefulness, becoming instead of a life-saving, shoulder-perched angel to a harbinger always of death that any wise person acknowledges already to be on the horizon. And that is why I am so happy. My fear has disappeared, not only in its irrational forms, but in all forms. I am a man without fear, and that may be as near to Heaven as I need to ever be.

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