Xenophobia – Fear of the unknown… because it means a loss of control – the inability to make the correct decision that will lead to the most desired outcome. There is nothing worse (for me) than not knowing. I have to keep myself in a state of constant awareness of the moment – so that thinking about tomorrow is a figment of my imagination – a chore that I lack the time to attend to.
I woke this morning and put my feet on the floor, my to-do list running through my mind like a pair of comfortable slippers. Ahhhh – busy. That is what I must stay to keep those pesky brain cells from racing into tomorrow and finding that maybe it doesn’t exist, maybe today is all I have.
I rush through my day and even in the briefest moments of relaxation, my mind is aware of its chore of thinking endlessly. I remain concentrated on things that don’t matter and have no eternal impact, but they keep me unaware of the unknown.
As I make my way home there is a noise behind me. A rustle of paper and the sound of grating metal fills the air. I laugh. I do not fear that which I should, but that which I shouldn’t, so in this moment, maybe death is welcomed at the hands of a mad-man, for he is moments from being known by my psyche. I turn to greet him and he stands before me, blood dripping from his knife like fingers, a deep scowl on his scared, dirty face. He licks one of the blades and shutters.
I remain still, calm, unafraid. A smile plays on my lips and concern flitters across his brow.
I exhale, because I am comforted by what will happen next. I don’t want to die, but tis better to leave in a fashion that I am aware of, than being caught off guard by my greatest fear. He shakes his head in disapproval of my stance and waves his hands, the knives grating against each other. I blink and he’s gone.
I look around and there are walls everywhere, thick walls made of vine and grass. I reach to touch one. It is firm and welcoming beneath my fingers, but my heart begins to race. I look behind me and in front of me and all I see are walls, curving this way and that, no solid pattern, no map of their designed course.
I began to run as my heart speeds up, my mind racing as well. What’s around the next corner? Which way do I turn?
It is my greatest fear come to life and I am losing the capacity to formula cognizant thought. I blink hard several times, trying to clear my mind. I stop and bend over, gasping for air – for life. I look behind me and the maze has shifted, ever-changing and turning. My heart flutters and I drop to my knees, grasping my chest. No. No, no, no, no….
Every turn and every step along this path whispers its promise of my failure. But I shall fail because I didn’t have the ability to see the plan, to plot out the course, because it is ever changing and I am walking through the valley of all that is unknown.
My eyes close and my mind grips my veins and the blood flow stops. I slump over as blood drips from my nose onto the pretty, green grass. This is the end – the unknown has conquered me and alas I lay down my sword and bow to its might.
I jerk up in bed, the nightmare still racing through my mind and I am comforted and horrified all in the same moment. I stand and breathe deeply, hoping to get air into my compressed lungs. I walk to the bedroom door and open it. No.
I look around me and there are walls everywhere…