Writing exercise: fear

I’ve been reading the Dresden Files books lately, and I’ve come to notice that Jim now and then strikes a real chord of truth in his descriptions of certain emotions, especially fear. Dresden encounters a lot of stuff that inspires that particular emotion. So, I thought I’d try and differentiate between the different types of fear I’ve felt.

Nervous fear: I sweat no matter the temperature, a buzz lives in my head, and my stomach feels like it’s in the rotating hot-dog rack at the gas station. I can’t seem to get my breath, I’m twitchy, and I don’t think clearly. The more I try to cover up the fact that I’m nervous and try to act cool, the more mistakes I make.

The heebie-jeebies: Similar to nervous fear, but I have no target for the fear. Post-scary movie, walking through a dark place, is a good example of when this can crop up. If I knew what it was I was afraid of, I could convince myself I was being silly. Being alone in the house and hearing sounds has the same effect. I try to brush it off, but like a slowly but steadily rising room temperature, I have to act on it eventually.

Dread: This is cold, and this is quiet. I have not felt it often, and I hope that trend continues. My brain recoils from the thoughts and concepts that inspired the dread, like I push a too-hot morsel of food around in my mouth to keep it from burning a single spot too badly. There’s no buzz, there’s no gibbering, no nervous energy-spending movements. My capacity for thought turns to mud.

Near-miss fear: This one comes in different sizes, like fountain drinks. When I almost clothes-line myself off the riding lawnmower with…the clothes-line usually, there’s a little spark of ‘that could’ve been bad.’ Then there’s the peripheral-vision shock of a car doing something dangerous and retarded, just feet or inches separating me from a hospital-stay. My heart slows down an hour later.

Sickening fear: Not only a reaction to something that’s happened, this is about the consequences I fear as well. My gut feels like it has literally tied itself in a knot, tight at the top and bottom while a horrid ball of acid churns and bloats, trapped, in its center. Unlike some of the other kinds, my mind works overtime to showcase all the horrible scenarios I could be facing over the next few minutes, hours, days and weeks. This type may be stronger in the memory-making department than the others, because even after much time has passed, dwelling on the events that sparked this fear can bring back a tinge of it.

I’ve never experienced the subjective slowing-down of the world when afraid that seems so popular in fiction.

Parent Ray

I thought of a great ‘weapon’ today. The parent ray. It shows whatever the target is doing at the time, to his/her parents.

Video camera + retinal scanner + wireless internet connection + Skype/IM service with webcam chat = Point it at someone, retina gets scanned, database searched for parents, phonecall/IM sent.

Sure there are a lot of problems with the idea, and it’s totally impractical, but there are plenty of situations where having this thing on hand would make for priceless moments. If the parents aren’t around for the live feed, it could post the video to youtube and send the link to the folks.

I predict this will eventually become part of COPS. Maybe a picture-in-picture deal with the sobbing mother or furious father glaring while the loser suspect argues that his shoe box full of drugs was a friend’s.

Late musings

So, at 3 this morning (when my brain does its best to keep me from sleeping) I thought,
“Hey, I bet there are a ton of people in my area who are just as sick as I am of getting rejected by employers for even jobs we can barely stand the thought of performing. Why don’t we band together and do something that would make us money?”

Not a lot of money obviously, but *something* would be good while the job hunt continues. The question is…what? I don’t even know what level of organization I can achieve without the government smacking me down or taxing the bejeezus out of me.

What do people need right now? Child care. Resume editing services. Cheap home repair work. Cheap car repair work. Cheap dentistry. Cheap medical care. Cheap entertainment. Cheap/free re-training for new careers.

Hmm. I guess resume editing falls within my purview, though given my lack of success finding work, maybe my own resume isn’t great…casting doubt on my suitability as an editor. x,x

Maybe a barter system between the unemployed would be a better idea than some sort of garage enterprise. Making goods isn’t the best game to be in, with people keeping a tight hold on their wallets. Painted handicrafts are right out, unless they’re of outstanding quality and suspiciously cheap, which is untenable.