Thursday, July 03, 2008

Every man fears something. Fear is systemic, and everybody will always have that one thing he fears more than anything. For some people it's spiders, for others, clowns. It can be anything and there's one for every person you know. Show me a guy who says he doesn't have anything to fear and I'll show you a guy who's afraid to show he has a small penis (chances are he really does).

By everybody, I mean everybody, including me. I do have a phobia, I'm just thankful the thing I'm afraid of doesn't have a very long name (or any name for that matter) and it doesn't occur to me very often.

See, ever since I was a kid, about three or four, I've always been afraid of sharks. To be more specific, I'm afraid of being in the water with the thought that there might be sharks beneath, or behind me. It doesn't have a name yet, and I hate to call it alonusinthewateruswithlotsoffuckingsharpteethus-phobia so I just call it my own little fear.

I know it exists but I'm not really controlling it well. When it attacks, I just get all uncoordinated and panicky, which isn't really good when your favorite pastime is being in the water where you can actually die of just panicking. It can be on any body of water, regardless of the possibility of sharks being in it. Swimming pool? Check. Landlocked lagoon? Check. At one point it got so bad I was afraid of a "timba" of water i was using for bathing because the water got murky enough for me to not see the bottom.

Worst bit is when it happens while I'm in the middle of actually swimming. The thought of a shark comes to my head and suddenly i find myself trying to check the water around me if there are any sharks around at the risk of getting muscle cramps from all the twisting I have to do. Either that or I speed up and hurry towards the nearest person or high place like a ladder or beach. (If you're asking why the nearest person, it's because then I wont have to outswim the shark - only that person).

In any case, it's threatened my safety more than once, either because I had cramps or because I ended up swimming towards the wrong direction (i.e. towards the bottom of the sea instead of the surface) I'm not a bad swimmer, if I may be so bold in stating that, but my case of phobia often turns me into a stupid swimmer, which is the worst kind of swimmer, next to the pool-urinating type (who doesn't endanger lives any more than he endangers general hygiene)

Thinking back to where it came from, I remember as a kid, my dad took me to Ocean Park HongKong and held me directly above a huge tank filled with fish, that he nicely referred to as "sharks". (that asshole) I didn't really cry because of that, but later on I watched the film Jaws and thought of how dangerously close I had been to becoming part of a campy sea-horror movie. It just kinda got stuck, and before long I already was afraid of being alone in the water.

Luckily, I'm also the type that forgets bad things quickly, so that memory is repressed at the back of my head. It doesn't pop up very often, so I am able to swim a couple of laps and dive up to 12feet underwater without having any problems - as long as the thought doesn't surface.

A few years back I got to swim with reefsharks at Eagle's Point, but only out of peer pressure. Nobody at the time knew how fuck scared I was, and my trembling wasn't easily detectable underwater (it was sorta like urinating). It took my fears away a bit, but old habits really die hard.

You might be thinking why I'm writing this here now. No really reason, actually, I'm just sharing. I'd say, if in the future, you go swimming with me and you suddenly see me going batshit insane in the water, you'd know why - and you know it's not a good time to do that "fake shark attack" joke lest I plunge my foot deep into your ass afterwards. Of course it could be a real shark attack too, so you may want to double check first.

Your turn. What's your innermost fear?


Jherskie said...

The risks associated with shouting to the whole world what my greatest fear is far greatly outweighs the benefits (if any) that could be derived from blogging about it.

redkinoko said...

We live in a liberal society Jerri, it's okay. J/K

Mai said...

I still have that fear of flying, thanks to a bad flight I had way back in my childhood. Which is sad, because one of my dreams when I was a kid is to become a fighter jet pilot. Yes, that's why I liek my Ace Combats.

Thinking about it, the main (irrational) reason why I have that phobia is because I don't like my life being on the hands of somebody else...in my case, the pilot. I'd very much like to be the pilot instead, so I can just say "Oh well" if ever I fuck up.

Jherskie said...

*adds to list of ways to torture some of my friends*

Mai said...

Jher, if you're planning to toss in an Su-27 in your infernal plans, that'll be pretty much the shit and I'll love you for it.

Xio said...

Korina Sanchez and her finally revealing that she's a flea and not a cockroach.


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