Fear, Pt. 2

There are few men in the world I’ve ever felt truly comfortable in the presence of.

There are few people in the world I’ve ever really loved.

There are few times in my life I’ve ever really tried.

Men, love, failure due to incompetency.

There are only a few things I truly fear.

One day in the fifth grade my mom let me walk home for the first time. It was only about a mile from school to my house, and I was thrilled. I was growing up, and she noticed it. So did a man in a white van in the 7-Eleven parking lot. He was probably in his late thirties. He thought I was sixteen; he was gonna ask for my number.

One day before eighth grade I walked home from helping my middle school band teacher move classrooms. It was also only about a mile to my house, and my friend lived nearby so we walked together. After leaving her, I turned the corner to see a shirtless man in his twenties. He was smoking, and he wanted to know if I wanted to join him, or to drink with him. I said no and never stopped walking. Neither did he. At least, not until I started running.

I have no stories about love, no reason to fear it. I’ve only had one relationship, but it was long and healthy and served us both well. I think I was just born scared of intimacy. The only time I’ve ever overcome that fear to start something with another person was through a computer screen, and it was with a person I didn’t meet for a year to come. Since then I’ve only wanted people that I knew I couldn’t have, because what I really want is to be alone. Dependency scares me.

I got my first D in the sixth grade. It was in math class, a year advanced for me. The thing was, the work wasn’t hard, I just didn’t do the homework often. I didn’t apply myself. I stopped applying myself thereafter. My record was tainted already, why bother trying harder? I have six Ds on my high school transcript. I almost failed a couple classes in university. I’ve spent my life scraping by with the fear that if I really tried, maybe I’d find out I’m not that smart after all.

It started in school but moved into the rest of my life. My health, my writing, my videos, whatever I want to pursue – I always do just barely enough for people to think that I’m trying, but I’m not. Not really.

Men, love, failure due to incompetency.

These are the only things I truly fear.

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