Scared to Death

Many people have some phobia whether it be heights, or swimming, or spiders. It’s been pointed out to me that I am quite fearless in essence and yet afraid of everything. This probably doesn’t make sense what so ever, so allow me to elaborate. I love standing on the edge of a balcony 40 stories up, but I won’t ride a Ferris wheel. I love speeding down the highway as fast as my car will let me go but I freak out when I’m the passenger in a speeding car. If I see a spider around odds are I’ll pick it up, but if a spider crawls on to me on it’s own free will it will probably be flicked across the room.
I have a huge problem with being out of control of my own body or situation. No, this is not where I reveal to you that my phobia is a trust thing. My phobia is dying; the only way that I don’t live in a corner of my bedroom is by having as much control over my life as I can. I’ve been told many times that having an irrational fear of dying is very unhealthy, and I understand that, but I’ve got my reasons.
1. I could die before I’m ready
2. I could have a painful death
3. The people I leave behind could be very emotionally damaged
4. The people I leave behind could not care at all
5. I could have a very prolonged death
6. I could have a short death and not say my goodbyes
7. I could die alone
8. I could have no one show up at my funeral
9. There could be no after life and everything would just end for me
10. There could be an after life and I’d have to be me forever
I think my reasons are valid. I don’t think death is an uncommon fear. I guess people are just surprised that I have such a wild and free spirit in some ways and such a guarded and afraid being in others. The bottom line is, amusement rides break, people get in car accidents, spiders can be poisonous. I trust in a basic sense as in I trust that people are generally good at heart and I trust that people won’t lie to me. I don’t, however, trust a roller coaster to not collapse, or a driver to swerve into oncoming traffic to avoid a deer, or a venomous spider to land on my shoulder and not bite me. I need control to be fearless; without control I am scared to death of dying.

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Hakuna Matata

It’s amazing to think I met her 9 years ago, when summer theatre was still held in the teen room. Back in the day if Alice in Wonderland where we were both cast as garden flowers with about a quarter of a line each and High School Musical where we composed 2/4 of the “skater dudes”. The next year we moved up a little higher and received parts with names in Treasure Island and Jake and the Technicolor Dreamcoat. The following year is when we really blossomed with our breakout roles of Timon and Pumbaa in The Lion King. Not only did we steal the show, but these roles brought us together as really great friends. We continued with musicals, participating in Cats, Mary Poppins, Finding Nemo, Seussical the Musical, The Jungle Book and Wicked. Theatre really brought us together. After our final summer performance I went off to high school and no longer participated in the shows. That was the last time I ever performed on stage.
During the Jungle Book I went through sort of a rough patch, and trust me, apologies have been given out generously. I did a lot of things I’m not proud of but no matter how stupid the thing I did was, she always just said in the motherly tone she was so famous for, “do you really think that was in your best interest?” She was one of the only people to not lose faith in me during that time of struggle and I wish I would have taken the time to make my gratitude known to her.
I recently read a book that taught me a bit about infinities. There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There’s .1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collection of others. Of course there is a bigger set of infinite numbers between 0 and 2 or 0 and a million. It just shows that some infinities are bigger than others. There are many days when I resent the size of her unbound set. I would have loved more numbers for her yet I am thankful for her little infinity. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. She graced us a forever within her numbered days, and I am grateful.
She was one of my best friends. We didn’t talk every day but then again we didn’t need to. She would call me once a week or so to catch up and we were constantly gossiping about which guys we had crushes on. We made time to see each other as much as we could but encountered some road blocks along the way. When she was away for treatments she couldn’t always call but never failed to message me over Facebook a very long and detailed paragraph about how she was doing, always upbeat and always positive. She taught me the power of optimism and what true strength looks like. She is an inspiration to me in do many ways and I miss her dearly. A friend like that is irreplaceable. We had last made plans to see Finding Dory since we were in Finding Nemo together. Although she is no longer able to come to the theatre physically, I know she will be there in spirit. As reads the Irish blessing, “May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be ever at your back. May the sunshine warm upon your face and the rain fall softly on your fields. And until we meet again, may God hold you in the hollow of his hand.”
I believe she is with us all everyday. Her mothering nature wouldn’t allow for anything else. Her love radiates upon us all and she is a constant reminder of the beauty and fragility of life. She was always beautiful to me before the cancer and long after she has gone. We are never truly without her as a little piece of her lives within each and every once of us. May she be remembered for her beauty inside and out, her strength, her sass, her talent and her grace. I will never say goodbye to her, I never have, like it has always been and will remain, it’s a see you soon Pumbaa.
Love always, Timon