The Halloween Project 2020 - Story 3: Look Into My Eyes
Phobias are interesting. And scary. And a little crazy. Just how crazy?
I'm not insane.
But you're not gonna believe that. In fact, I know there's not a thing I can say here that will make you think that I'm O.K.
Alright, alright. I'm not O.K. But insanity is a whole different thing, right? Well, isn't it? That's like serial killers and seeing creatures that aren't even there. Or voices. Hearing voices that are talking to you and telling you to do things. That's insanity.
I just have a phobia, well, two of them actually. And they're getting, no, they're really, really bad. Really bad. I wish I could just have a regular phobia. Like claustrophobia, that would be easy. Or aviophobia, hell, I would just never go in a plane. Not that I've ever flown in a plane, but still I wouldn't. Or why couldn't it be arachnophobia? You know how many people in the United States have that? 90 million. That's right, 90. Million. Call me crazy?
So, people, who I rarely ever talk to, who don't have phobias don't really get it. They say stupid things. "You're really afraid of heights? So you won't go on a roller coaster?" or. "Alright, already, I'll turn on the lights! Just take a breath!" Or the worst is: "There's no reason to be afraid of..."
This all started early. I was always shy. That's what people would say when I looked down or away. "Oh, he's so cute...and shy!" But it wasn't that. It was just the beginning. And it got worse. A lot worse.
I've been to therapy. My mother saw to that. But she's gone now so it doesn't really matter. Lots and lots of therapies. Systematic desensitization, exposure therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, those are a mouthful to say. And speaking of mouthfuls, you want to know how many drugs I've taken? Here's a partial lineup: Valium, Zoloft, Xanax, Klonopin, Prozac, Paxil, and a bunch of other crap as well, some to hard to pronounce. That's all done.
O.K. So what I have, what I suffer from, and I really suffer, are Ommetaphobia and Scopophobia. The first one is a fear of eyes. My eyes, your eyes, any eyes. I don't like to touch my eyes, have an eye exam, look in the mirror. See eyes in a magazine, watch a television show, see a face with eyes on a billboard. Obviously, I'm messed up and I never look up from the ground. The second one is acute fear of being stared at. People stare at me all the time, walking on the street, standing in the line at the grocery store, in the car next to me at a red light. I can't stand that.
My life is awful. When an attack comes my vision shuts down like a black and white tunnel. I sweat profusely. My heart races, then races even faster. My arms tingle, ears start ringing, I lose my balance, sometimes I throw up.
But I've had enough. I decided that all the doctors in the world were not going to help me, so I'm taking matters into my own hands. If eyes are my problem than the solution is pretty simple. I have to get rid of eyes. My eyes, somebody's eyes, all eyes. I just have to figure out which eyes to take care of first.
Right now I'm walking slowly down the street of my city, my head and vision glued to my shoe tops. I see the sidewalk cracks and hear the steps of people, sometimes their voices as they talk to companions. I'm getting ready. It'll happen soon. I just don't know exactly what's going to happen.
I keep fidgeting with the knitting needles in my coat pocket.