This was an interesting thing to think about because I had to, like, reconsider, like, what is fear, right? And I decided, like, okay, it's not a fear unless there's some, like, element of hope to it that this might not happen. Like, in the context of my daughter, saying I'm afraid that I may have contributed to my daughter's situation and her struggles sounds like maybe I didn't. And to me, I'm like no, I did. Because I don't really question that, you know? Like, I own that. So I'm not afraid of that. So anyway.
Number one. Escalators. I got a shoe or shoelace or something stuck in an escalator when I was a kid once, and my mom completely lost her mind. And, you know, we're slowly going up and she's trying to get my shoe out. Seeing my mom freak out like that, it was like, oh my god I'm gonna die. My mom's giving up on me. Like, she was just like if this shoelace doesn't come out, like, “See you, kid.”
Number two. I'll never be in love again. I had a relationship since my divorce where I was so convinced that I was falling in love. It had all that, like, just crazy kind of madness. But as soon as there was the first sign of friction everything just evaporated like smoke, you know?
Number three. Catheters.
Number four. I'll fail my art history course.
Number five. Spiders, slash walking into spider webs.
Number six. I’ll lose my ability to draw someday. I was born with rheumatoid arthritis and they diagnosed me when I was two or three. There was a period of time where I was in a wheelchair and had casts up to my hips. But I think drawing was the one thing that, like, I was powerful. Like, I have a real memory of me sitting at a kitchen table drawing this web of lines, you know? It was a spider web. And I would draw spiders in it, and I’d draw flies in it. And I remember, I would draw parts of the web on fire. I remember the feeling of drawing it and just kind of, like, being lost in the drawing. And I was making a world, but I was also getting to be in it, you know? And there's no better feeling than that at all.
Number seven. My rheumatoid arthritis meds will stop working someday.
Number eight. I'll get fired from my job.
Number nine. My daughter won't be ok. My daughter has a heroin addiction, and she's been in and out of jail, and currently she's in prison. She's relapsed, you know, many times. And to compound it, so... my daughter had a child. So, my grandson, a couple of years ago, and last year his father, which was my my daughter's fiance at the time, committed suicide. And my daughter's the one that found him in the closet. It's scary to me how much of my daughter's experience is not experiences that I've had, and they're not things I understand. I always felt like I had a life where things were difficult. Like, I knew adversity. And I understood that you can get to the other side of pain. You can beat things. Even if you can't make pain go away, you can not let it take you down. But, I've never experienced what my daughter has had to experience.
Number ten. My grandson won't be okay. My grandson calls me Mama. It could be like a totally innocent thing but part of me wonders, is there this concept of Mama that was floating around in his head that suddenly went away, and did he just stick that on me? I'm not naive enough to think that there's going to be no fallout for this boy.
My name is Chris Miller. And these are 10 things that scare me.