I have an app I use all the time called WeCroak which gives you five quotes about death every day, and apparently in Bhutan it makes you happier. So I think about it a lot. Here, let me find a deathy quote. Let me find a good one. There are so many. I save them all, and I read them back to myself constantly, and I send them around and everything. Ben Franklin: “Death takes no bribes.”
Number one. Any harm to my children.
Number two. Any serious health issue after my stroke.
Number three. Another stroke. So what happened... I was in a hotel room. I arrived in Hong Kong and I was writing a story about Yahoo, and I talk out loud when I write sometimes. And I was like, “Oh, what a fucking mess this place is,” or something like that. And it came out garbled. I don't mean to make fun of stroke victims. That's exactly what it sounded like. And so I went into the bathroom, and oddly enough I started singing the baloney song from Oscar Meyer. You know, “My baloney has a first name,” but it didn't come out garbled which was somewhat funny. I don't know why I picked that song to try out. And so I went to the hospital and it was indeed a stroke. You know, they immediately saw it, and I didn't get upset until I thought of my kids. Thinking of them alone.
Number four. Dying young, per my dad. I was five years old and he died of a cerebral hemorrhage. He used to make us breakfast every Sunday morning, like clockwork. He was a wonderful father. And and he didn't wake up and my mom was like, “Go wake up your dad.” And the door was locked, and we're banging on the door, and then the firemen came and broke down the door and took him away and I never saw him again. I don't remember the last time I saw him. I guess when he said goodnight the night before, I guess. We didn't go to the funeral or anything like that because we were young.
Number five. Abandonment. I'm not particularly clingy, but I assume people will be gone. Like, I think mostly I'm thinking about death, but I'm thinking I don't want it. You have a hard time developing attachments so that's why I had children I think because I wanted to stop that cycle. I think you can be very detached if you are worried about people leaving or people dying.
Number six. How history bends back on itself. We’re always doing the same mistakes. That's what I think. Like, I think we go from Salem witch trials to McCarthyism to the anti-AIDS stuff in the 80s that I lived through, to this now, and I just am, like, I’m waiting for Nazi Germany again.
Number seven. Handmaid's Tale.
Eight. Car accident.
Nine. Wasting time. What I don't like is when people say, you know, “Now you have to stop and rest and enjoy life.” I hate those people.
Number ten. Not being scared enough. There was a big raccoon in our house, and everyone was, like, “Ahhh!” You know what I mean? Because it's like a big frigging raccoon. And they were like, “Who's gonna do it?” I'm like, “Oh I will.” But this raccoon stood up full, like a little small child, like big enough, and I'm not tall. And I was like, “You've gotta be kidding me, raccoon.” And, like, we had a face off. We were like, “Hey.” And then I thought, oh my god that raccoon could rip my face off. What am I doing. I'm such an idiot. But then again, I'm like fuck you, like, you know what I mean? Like, not giving enough fucks is something that I have, and I think I should maybe give just one or two fucks.
My name is Kara Swisher and these are 10 things that scare me.