I’m not afraid of many things. When V was younger, she used to get confused by the cartoons on TV that showed people (usually women) being terrified of mice or spiders or snakes. “What’s wrong with her?” V would ask. “I dunno,” I’d say, because I really don’t.
Now, I’m not trying to minimize fear. I think it’s healthy and useful and even when it’s not, it’s understandable. And I find things unpleasant, certainly. I didn’t like it that one fall when we had mice in our house, or the time after the flood in ’97 when Myra had what we hoped was a squirrel but what ended up being a small-ish rat stealing dog food and chomping up Rubbermaid containers. But both times I took care of the eradication (I had some help with the rat, to be fair).
I am afraid of weather, though. You can’t defeat a tornado, and blizzards kill people. Floods you can usually fight, but not always. And I’ve never been in an earthquake, but I hope never to be. When I was a little girl, whenever my family went out of town, I would be afraid coming back home that a tornado would have struck and taken our house. Just our house: the neighbors would be fine, I figured. I would hold my breath most of the way from Perley onward, hoping to will the house into still being there.
And I am afraid of squirrels, still. My friend Liz has a squirrel who lives in her yard. Liz is quite fond of this squirrel. She’s been coming around for 6 years or so. And my friend Dan adores squirrels, and feeds them on the maple tree in his front yard. These people, while my friends, are fucking crazy. Squirrels are not right, and they’re getting too comfortable with humans, and this is not okay. I’ve known this since the early 1990s, people. In fact, I shared this knowledge in 2010, on the old blog. So here it is again, a piece I wrote almost 20 years ago about squirrels. I stand by it.
The fear abides.