Number two. The movie Misery starring Kathy Bates. I kind of thought Misery might be more like a psychological thriller or something, and then they pulled back the blanket like ten or fifteen minutes into the movie, and I saw his fucked up legs, and I just said, “I can't watch anymore of this.” I made us watch Mickey Blue Eyes starring Hugh Grant instead.
Number three. Halloween decals featuring pumpkins.
Number four. What if I never, ever get a dog.
Number five. Breathing tubes. When I think of myself before I saw my mom in the hospital I'm like, you sweet dumb idiot. They thought it was a heart attack at first, and it ended up not being a heart attack. My mom's lungs had basically given out and my mom had to be on a ventilator for about six weeks, and for the first ten days she was on a breathing tube. And the tube is doing all of your breathing for you, so it completely blocks off your vocal cords, so you can't talk, and you need to be pretty heavily sedated so that your body will let the ventilator do its thing and breathe for you. And so, you're pretty out of it, but then also on top of that your hands are tied down because people's automatic response when they wake up is to try to, like, yank the tubes out. And so, I would sit next to my mom and there were times where she would wake up and she would be disoriented and terrified, and just imagine waking up and you have tubes coming out of your mouth, and you try to talk and, like, no sound comes out, and your hands are tied down. The idea that she thought I was just watching as she might die is so fucked up. You just realize how much time you wasted on totally stupid shit.
Number six. Violence and the things that people are capable of.
Number seven. What if I decide to have kids and the whole world is just a hellhole? I change my mind every day. Sometimes I have deep yearnings. Other times I'm like, are people this indecisive about it? I don't know. I don't know. I'm just actively trying not to think about it. I'm thirty-four. When it comes to kids stuff I'm like, oh, I don't want to think about it. I don't want to talk about it. I don't want any input from anyone about this, by the way.
Number eight. Not making something that's just my own.
Number nine. Having food in my teeth.
Number ten. I think for a long time I really wanted to be liked, and I thought not being liked was a moral failing. And I internalized everything and now... I don't know. I've been getting pissed a lot more lately and it's actually, like, super liberating.
My name is Joanna Solotaroff and these are 10 things that scare me.