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The Scariest Person In The World can't hardly bear to go to bed at night. She's up 'till all hours, though she knows full well how early that alarm clock will ring. Her day job seems certain to exhaust her again, though she prayed hard to land it and felt especially fortunate when she did. It didn't change much.

She inherited her terror, bequeathed by her mother, and, I suppose, her mother's mother before her. A long family history of histrionics, strong-willed females exacting tribute they intended to resolve something. Whatever that something might have been, not even they ever knew for sure.

She's scary because she's scared, a feeling she long ago lost any feeling for. For her, sensations indistinguishable from electric shocks overwhelm her and she simply responds; reacting to threats not even she can see coming anymore. A sideways comment bushwhacks her and she simply must lash out, often shouting over something nobody else ever even noticed.

Her family walks as if on pins and needles when there are clearly no pins or needles there. They live in a broken glass house, windows shattered, shards cluttering the carpet. Everybody bleeds on command. Nobody seems able to stand on their God-given hind legs anymore; they cower in anticipation instead.

Fear might qualify as the very most communicable disease, for it's clearly a sickness especially virulent for humans. We seem to be tender souls imbedded in weak flesh, even more vulnerable than we imagine ourselves to be; and we imagine ourselves teetering and ready to topple.

When I fear you, you will fear me, though you might not quite ever understand why. We reverberate this awful vibration until a glass shatters, then it doesn't matter who's to blame. It's been more or less the same since the world began, and so seems unlikely to change for us now.

The Scariest Person In The World feels more scared than the quakingest among her enthralled throng. She lives a scant scissors edge away from complete annihilation, and knows not why. It feels as if live and let die might be the only possible way to survive. Why doesn't matter any more, if it ever did.

I imagine that I might somehow talk her out of her terror, a clear conceit on my part, and, besides, I'm too awfully terrified in her presence to talk, much less untangle anything, or anyone. My words, too, simply bounce off the force field protecting her, which of course can't keep her safe from anything at all.

I believe that we dare not dispose of people simply because they inconvenience us, or threaten us, or scare the freaking pants off of us most of the time. I ache for connection, hoping some deeper understanding might somehow finally leave us all feeling as safe as we deserve to feel. Even The Scariest Person In World would probably readily agree, but locked in apparent disagreement, we dance on imaginary pins and needles, none of us hardly even there.

©2016 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved


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