The old lady had fallen and was still being pelted with snowballs.
Dozens of were there; but they didn’t really SEE it.
I went over to help. She was crying and yelling things. I felt awful. I should have stood up for her, said something, stepped in. All my heroes in the comics would have.
But I was scared. I guess everyone else was too.
A few days later someone came to my school. He punched me in the face while I was sitting in history class. They told me he did it because I tried to help.
The teacher didn’t say anything (I think she was scared too). She let me go to the bathroom to clean up the blood.
Word was they weren’t finished. I was afraid for weeks.
Sometimes I look away from people who need help.
Bullies taught me to be afraid of helping others.
As a kid I didn’t always get enough to eat.
They passed down the old affirmations: “There’s not enough to go around. Get your share before it runs out. The rich are holding us down”.
When I’m at a restaurant and the bill comes I won't look at it. I ask Sempai Shelly to put it on her card and sign it. I know it's not fair to her but I do it sometimes anyway. That way I don’t have to face the part of me that’s still afraid.
Today I might have lots of money in my pocket but sometimes I’m the poorest in the room.
My ancestors taught me to be afraid of lack.
At a weird underground church they showed scary movies. Horrible and unspeakable things that would happen to people in the end times.
They taught me to be afraid of sex, rock music, and the devil.
Behind it all was the greatest fear of all. The fear that you might not be good enough. The fear that Jesus might leave you behind.
Today every now and then when I find myself alone I feel a twinge of anxiety. Did it happen? Did He leave me? As a kid I asked Jesus to save me every night.
Sometimes I still do.
The fanatics taught me to be afraid of being alone.
Hard to be generous when you haven’t had much. Hard to be kind when you've faced cruelty. Hard to forgive when others haven’t forgiven you.
But you know what else is hard? Not being able to sleep at night. Not looking the homeless guy in the eye. Not being able to know God loves you.
I might suck at it but I’m in the game. I think that’s all that life asks.
Every time I blame the past I cop out. Copping out lets me hold on to my fear.
Better to recognize fear for what it is.
Fear is your past reaching it’s hand from the grave.
It’s gnarly hand holds tight to your ankle. It want’s to pull you down where the other dead things are.
Stay strong. Pull away. Stay above ground.
Surviving your zombies is your job. Surviving your zombies is your purpose.
Because if you're not careful you’ll let your fear bite you. If you get bitten you’ll become mindless too.
Mindless, starving, and trying to live off of the flesh of others.
Like all those others that taught me to be afraid.