The Smell of Fear

My feelings rule me. They snatch me up in their gigantic palm, crumple me into a paper ball, and throw me to the ground. If something pokes at my insecurities or anxieties, suddenly I feel carbon and other combustible gases bubbling in the sedimentary depths of my core. 

Spider Web – source

Somewhere in my chest a knot starts to bunch and twist itself tight, grasping at the extremities and pulling my entire being towards it.

Tighter and tighter until I’m immobile, coiled and folded under layers of a sticky web woven by this intensifying emotional state. 

Now, I am a trapped wild animal, whose predator has its finger on my hot and beating pulse. For fear of treading in error, I swallow meaningfully, every ounce of spittle accounted for as it drains back into my throat. My breath heavy in and out through my nose, which quivers like a rabbit smelling trouble. 

A Close Call

Sometimes this gaseous mixture remains nascent. Missing a certain catalytic ingredient, the brew steams and simmers like a witch’s cauldron before eventually fizzling out. And suddenly, the ominous mood passes and I am no longer dressed in the shadow of the passing clouds. My shield and sword clang onto the ground in a loud show of symbolic gesture. Reasonable and understanding, the skin on my face has relaxed and I’m open, inviting you in and reaching out to connect. In this version, I am able to see many sides and meet you where you are. 

The Color of Rage

Other times, this unstable, incendiary substance explodes into a verbal rage of fear and hysteria. My hackles are raised, ears flat against my head, lips snarling wildly, and my eyes glint like daggers, reflecting my rage. My nostrils are like bellows, fueling my inner fire with oxygen, as I breathe quickly in and out. The energy in my body quickens, the growing knot in my chest has spread like the bubonic plague, ossifying me into a piece of petrified wood. I am a tree struck by lightning. I am a volcano exploding. 

Lightning – source

So I crouch down like a child and cradle my head in my hands. I don’t know what to do. This isn’t me and yet, it is me. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. If my body has become the puppet, then who is this mysterious master puppeteer? 

If I am Pinocchio sitting on a shelf in a toymaker’s studio, and suddenly, a gust of emotion comes over me like a Holy Spirit and suddenly I’m raising the roof with Jesus, what does it mean? Am I my emotion? Does it live through me? Am I Dorothy’s house in Kansas swept up in a tornado of the Oz-ian nature? What is happening when I lose all control to the turbulent sea of emotion? Is the feeling even real? 

An Orgasmic Conclusion

And as the crest of the wave comes crashing down to its trough, my anger and jealous rage have climaxed. Suddenly, I am remorseful, peaceful, and penitent. The shining beacon of a lighthouse after the storm. My huffing and puffing has placated into a deep panting and my eyes drip with tears. A self loathing penetrates my body like a sponge soaking in water and there’s not enough sorry’s I can possibly say, but I still try. Even though I know that with each sorry spoken, the particular sheen that apologies have, becomes duller and loses its luster. A strange serenity betrays me, as my face relaxes and opens up. I’ve become pliant and receptive. I’ve gotten my orgasm and now I’m ready to listen.

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