Sunday, May 25, 2008

good as gold

It's always Sunday night that I feel a desperation to post something, last minute before the sleeping pill kicks in. Sunday night, the brink of a new week of unknown, where my constant state of anxiety makes the probable monotony to come the welcome alternative.

Tonight I called my parents at a time that I thought they should have been home watching the news or reading in bed and there was no answer. I called my father's cell phone, and when there was no answer there, my mother's. My brother is in Israel and I know he has a bad flu right now. I contemplated calling his phone next, but it was the middle of the night there. There are times when the hysteria would win out over common sense, but I forced myself to wait a little longer. I tried the whole routine again: parent's house, father's cell, mother's cell. Finally she answered.

There were all kinds of things that could have been happening. I have an incredibly vivid imagination [if only I could harness it]. All kinds of things happen all the time, so you can't really say it's irrational. Bad things happen.

Sometimes the things that happen are so bad I find it hard to believe anything good is possible.

That's why statistics never worked for me. Do you know how many times people have tried to use them to talk me out of my fear?

"Do you know your chance of dying in a car accident is much higher than..."

There was a time in university where I went crazy over probability trees. None of my friends could figure them out, and me, the one who had a full-time math tutor from the seventh grade on got them right off. Even loved them perhaps. I thought I had finally discovered a way to take risk out of the equation, to make sure bad things wouldn't happen, but there was still this number at the end. No matter how many precautions there were or how many back-up engines a plane had, the risk was never zero. There is always something.

I admit, being afraid isn't a good way to live. I am so much better than I was. At least now after all of these years I know that calling my brother in the middle of the night on the other side of the world when he is sick with the flu is not going to change the outcome. If it is going to be bad [and I hope with all of my heart that it is not], no amount of vigilance will change that. And even if it could, do I want to spend my whole life in that state to prevent one bad thing from happening? I don't think so. I'm still a little too vigilant, but if it interferes too much with my life I have the capacity to walk away from it. I have the balls to do things I never thought I could do.

There are still things that bring it out in me; bad news and change to name a couple. And Sundays, which are basically a combination of the two.

1 comment:

swine said...

i was also into probability trees. the thing is, nothing "bad" happens. or, rather, i believe NOTHING happens. it's always there, in a fluid state...people just go to it. it's the whole theory of relativity thing where situation is almost personal or subject to the observer. so, i'm not much for statistics either, but i also don't really believe "good or bad things" happen, per se. we just open the doors to them.