Phobia Hooks and High-Fives

Hey Gang!

So, I am a liar. In my last post I promised to write about my enlightening weekend home a few weeks ago but I must tell this one first. Now, I usually write about my inner thoughts on happy moments or those that are sad but are poignant. Posts about how understanding what it means to understand what things mean in the moment. This is not one of those posts.

We have all learned about the narrative plot structure and its six components. My favorite is the narrative hook. That point in a story where you go, “Holy Guacamole! I’m in!” I love it.

Well, yesterday, I was enjoying a run as dark clouds rolled in with strong breezes alluding to a beast of a storm looming not too far away. There is a point in my run where my mind clears and I only get a fleeting thought. I let them in and am able to see the big picture of the thought or memory, not just snippets. I usually dwell on a short story  or a screenplay I am  but yesterday was different. I remembered what I call my “Phobic Hooks”.

We all have events that mold us and shape us. Things that you look back and say, “Yep, that’s why I [ENTER STRANGE IDIOSYNCRASY HERE]”.
In my case, while running, I remembered two severe phobias I have and there genesis. I haven’t thought of them for years because I haven’t had to in years. I haven’t come into contact with them in a while. I remember getting the chills just remembering it! It made my blood pump harder and my legs move faster. I was running away from my own Phobic Hooks that chased me. These are those hooks.

As I said this isn’t like other posts because this one has a gross-out factor of about a level ten slash a “Da Fuq?!” level of seven…still here? Okay…

Those Nasty Invertebrates!

Strangely, these two phobias began at the same house at around the same time. It may have been signs of the apocalypse, I don’t know, you be the judge. I was thirteen and a pretty lazy 13-year-old at that. Like any amazing story, this begins on a dark and stormy night. I was playing Playstation in my room on the Curtis Mathis TV I’d had since I was born. I hear my mother call out from her bedroom that I needed to take the trash out. I did so as I scoffed and paused my game.

I made some remark about why do I have to do everything and she replied, “Oh shut up, it’s next to the garage. It’s not a mile away.”

Well, I hate the dark. Not so much the dark but what lurks in it, watching me (Gee, Chris, paranoid much?).

So, I gather up the trash and exit the back door standing under the tin roof awning. The rain was hitting with such force on the awning that it drowned out any sound. The back light had blown out a few days before and my mother asked me to change it. I did not. I feel like that one act would have saved me a phobia. Just realized that, right now. Damn.

I begin walking in the dark, rainy night down the sidewalk. It’s concrete the whole way to the garage and the garbage can next to it, so naturally I didn’t wear shoes. I stepped sure-footed into the night as cool rain pelted me. Step, hard surface. Step, hard surface. Step, hard surface.

Step and then I put my foot down heavy on the ground when something slimy and wet hits my foot and shoots between my big toe and the one next to it. My immediate reaction was to wriggle my toes vigorously and scream, ” What The Hell!”

I take another few step and same thing, same foot. I scream in anger and frustration. A few more steps and the automatic security light comes on on the garage. Gang, I wish you could have seen what I am sure was pure horror on my face as I saw literally dozens of massive slugs all over the concrete. They were on the white siding of the house, climbing up the door of the garage, crawling across the pavement where I just walked.

I saw two of them with their little, white bellies facing upwards and I screamed and writhed in disgust as I realized those are what shot between my toes. I dodged a few more on the ground and lifted the lid. I shoved the trash in and under the lid there was a massive slug. Then I felt a tickle on my hand and immediately dropped the lid on the ground, where I saw a smaller slug next to where my hand had been. I screamed and ran back inside. I can’t even remember if I locked the door. I just jumped into bed and covered myself up. I eventually fell asleep like that.

I stopped taking the trash out after that as well. My mother still thinks it’s hilarious. I think she is a mean person. This fear causes me to get chills by just thinking about a slug. This was exacerbated by seeing a Fear Factor where they ate slugs and a crappy old movie called “Slugs”. Most would think it lame but it was literally my nightmare. If you have Netflix, check it out. You never know, this could be your next big phobia!

Why I avoid large groups of kittens

You ever just have one of those moments where you think to yourself, “Yep, after that, I am not the same person I was.”?

This is one of those. I will try to not be too graphic.

I had a cat named Mytika. She was a weird one. She always tried to scratch my dog Dash’s wiener. As a 13-year-old I thought it was hilarious but 13-year-old me was an idiot who listened to Crazy Town. So, no judgement, right?

Mytika also refused to stay in the house. She would dart out as soon as the door opened but she usually came back. Then one time she didn’t. Weeks went by and we didn’t see her. We were sad but I believe Dash was relieved. Then, one day, I hear my mom scream from the garage. I freak out and pause my Playstation (It was huge back then, leave it alone guys). I run  into the garage and see what the commotion was about. My mother is cupping her hand over her mouth and looking down on our black futon where I would say between ten and twelve tiny, black kittens are huddled around this little white one. She was beautiful but she was born with only one crystal blue eye. It was incredibly disturbing how they were all surrounding her like she was the queen. These, we guessed were Mytika’s offspring that she’d had on our futon.

We made the decision that, because it was spring and decent weather, we would have to bring food out to them. The shelter said they could take them in a couple of weeks but I didn’t understand why not then. So, for a week, I would come home and feed the cats.  They were cute but I realized then that I had a cat allergy because my eyes would burn and I would sneeze repeatedly. So, I did it sparingly.

Then, one rainy Saturday afternoon, after my mom, my aunt and me went shopping, my mom went to feed the cats and they had all died on the futon. We were actually going to bring in the white one that day. So, pretty sad.

Ugh, the bad part.

My mom was too affected by it and my aunt said we can’t just leave them here. So, she told my mom to go back inside and she had me grab a shovel and shovel in the dead kittens. I was near tears as each little body made a rustle into the Walmart bag. A few disturbing minutes later and it was done. My aunt wanted me to toss them in the garbage but I decided they needed a good burial. In pouring rain, I dug a deep hole at the back corner of the garage and placed them in it. I said a few words and then covered them up.

For weeks I had the same nightmare. The kittens came back and climbed out of ground meowing at me. They were led by the little white one. They were always coming for me. Somehow, they believed it was my fault.

Now, I see kittens and I just remember the heaviness of the back and the little white one looking at me when it was alive and I literally want to run out of the room crying.

We did throw away the futon mattress and I always wonder if anyone has accidentally found that bag of nightmares in their backyard.

(Did you make it?)

So, I am on the trail, my legs pumping harder than ever as I think about the Phobic Hooks that plague me, as that’s where the phobias began. Then a woman comes from the other side of the trail and holds up her palm to me and we high-five. It surprisingly snaps me out of it and I slow down as my lungs expand, feeling like needles are sticking in them.

I walked back home feeling exhausted but relieved that the hooks were gone.

I may lose a few followers after this messed up post but we have to take a look back. Introspection of the good, the bad and the Da fuq?!


4 thoughts on “Phobia Hooks and High-Fives

  1. Chris, as someone who has also stepped on a slug with bare feet in the dark I can relate. I commend you for being able to capture the immense displeasure in words. Evertime I think of my mishap I can only frown, squirm, and quiver. Personally I think you handled the situation well. I am certain that in your place I would have had an emotional breakdown the likes of which no one has ever seen.

  2. This reminds me of when I was a teenager. My brother had left his shoes outside on the step, being summer, he went to put them on with bare feet. As he rammed his one foot to the end of the shoe he had the same toe squelching goo sensation. Turns out a frog had decided his shoe was a good place to hang out. I will never forget the look of horror and disgust on his face. To this day he gets mad at me if I talk about it, then he checks his shoes to make sure there are no frogs lurking there. I can easily see how your slug apocalypse turned into a phobia, as for the kittens it is just sad 😦

  3. Hilarious.:0)I don’t like any creepy crawleys not because anything happened but just generally.I have a phobia of mice since at university I was convinced that one crawled over my duvet when I was having an afternoon nap. So whenever I sleep and my duvet shifts unexpectedly I obviously assume it must be a mouse rather than a movement I have made;0)I also have a phobia of eating sitr fry after a very messy incident which would be too gross to go into.This makes me sad becuas eI really used to love cooking and eating them:0)


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