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Friday, February 7, 2014

Phobiphilia: The Joy of Being Afraid

Phobiphilia is the love of phobos, the Latin word for fear. Embracing all your inner demons can be a beautiful thing even as it turns you into a nail-biting, tongue-chewing, nervous-knee-syndrome mess. 

I admit I'm afraid of people; I definitely have agoraphobia but I'm also afraid of being alone. Why, I'd get a pet except for the fact that animals scare me! You never know what'll happen When Animals Attack! Haven't you seen those videos?  I have arachnophobia (spiders), ophidiophobia (snakes), cynophobia (dogs) and the birds is coming! The birds is coming!

I'm even afraid of plants (botanophobia) and have written about this before.

I'm afraid of lightning and thunder. I'm afraid of rain and of sunshine (fear of melanomas). Basically, I'm afraid of weather.

I'm claustrophobic, so I moved to New York City to heighten my phobiphilia. The big city, bright lights also engaged my chromophobia (fear of bright colors). I tend to choose bright colors when I shop for clothes ~ just to scare myself when I look in the mirror (or maybe I choose them because I'm a gay man). Fear of mirrors is called eisotrophobia. Not to be blinked at if you've ever seen me when I get up in the mornings. That first shock at the medicine cabinet as I run my shower gets my adrenaline going even before my initial cup of java! "When did Chaz Bono get in my house and why is her hair such a mess?" I ask myself before realizing.

Of course, I'm afraid of circus clowns. Isn't everyone? However, Im not at all paranoid. Why are you snickering and going on Facebook, telling people that I am? Unlike Erica Jong, I have no fear of flying; just take-off and landing.

I hate the word homophobia. It's not a phobia. You are not scared; you are an asshole.
Actor Morgan Freeman explained that he hated the term "homophobia" because "You're not afraid. You're an asshole." Assholes, both the literal and the figurative, scare me.

Can any deodorant really take the worry out of being close?

Sex scares me. But so does the dreaded thought of abstinence!

I hate the word homophobia. It's not a phobia. You are not scared; you are an asshole.
I'm afraid, passing people on the street, that we'll become discombobulated and body slam each other. I'm afraid of my cell phone (cancer to the brain?), the microwave (more cancer?), tv, the computer and even the oven and my refrigerator.  (I worked with a woman whose sister suffered from third-degree burns when her fridge exploded one night. I imagine she was sleeping on the floor, right next to her combustible Frigidaire, in case she needed a late-night snack.)

I fear cooking because I fear fire and gas. I fear ordering out (who knows who's going show up to deliver your food or what's in it) and dining out is impossible because of the agoraphobia. Yet, still, somehow, I manage to gain weight, which scares me!

The weirdest phobias I ever heard of were Billy Bob Thorton's. He's afraid of plastic cutlery and antique furniture. Oh, God, he'd never survive a visit to my place! Billy Bob scares me.

Award-winning poet and author Robin Morgan wrote a poem entitled "Phobiphilia." I understand it opens with the line "Do you smell smoke?" and ends with "Do you smell someone burning?" I would have read it... but those lines scared me off.

You know, I scare myself sometimes!

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