Number one. Bugs, spiders, creepy crawlies in general.
Number two. Outliving the people I love.
Number three. Taking off my shirt in public. My elementary school used to do a costume parade at lunch on the day of Halloween, or the Friday before, or whatever. I can't even remember why, but that year I wanted to be a grim reaper. So, the costume that I had was a robe, and my face was fully covered by a mesh black thing, so you couldn’t even see my face, and the robe was very clingy, so it sort of was, like, made out of this really cheap, latex something. So it showed off everything. Like, my body was out there. We get up and we start parading around and I hear one of the older kids say to another one, “Hey look at the fat kid.”
Number four. Plane crashes. And my partner told me I should specify whether I'm on the plane or whether I'm being hit by a plane, and in this case I'm on the plane.
Number five. Calls in the middle of the night. My godmother, Carol, her name was Carol Wong. She lived one street over. She was like a second mom. I want to say when I was twelve years old I was watching TV in the back room. My mom ran in and said Carol had a heart attack, and she was dead that night. Carol was the first time where I was like, oh, death is arbitrary.
Number six. Bros. I, like, bros scare me.
Number seven. Not being taken seriously.
Number eight is maybe the one that embarrasses me the most, and that is, I'm afraid of being mediocre. I get asked all the time why I stopped being a cellist, and the truth, I feel like, which I don't admit often because it feels embarrassing, is that I always felt like I was talented enough to know that I wasn't exceptional. There's an interesting dynamic in my family especially when I was growing up. My brother and sister, who are much older than me, both at a young age knew exactly what they wanted to do, knew the artistic career that they were going into, and became incredibly successful at it. So I feel like as a kid, there was this sense of, like, I don't think anyone else was putting this on me, but there was this sense of, like, I can't be not exceptional.
Number nine is getting to the end of life and not having maintained friendships. I didn't come out until I went to college, years later I left music and I went into the radio world, and so this idea of, like, I can just shed my older self and become a new person became very appealing to me, and I have lost a lot of people because they got caught up in the fray of how quickly can I leave old Tobin behind, and you're part of old Tobin, so you only know him, and I'm a new person now. When I realized that I was doing this, or that I had done this, I had a thought of, like, I could very well get to the end of my life and not feel like somebody was there with me the whole time.
Number ten. I would guess, I’m going to say number ten is dying on an amusement park ride. But, like, on a dumb ride. It's like, how did you die, and it's like the spinning teacup I was on became unhinged and it went off the rail and I hit a tree, and that's how I died. I'm afraid of being judged even in the afterlife. But isn't that where you're supposed to get judged?
My name is Tobin Low and these are 10 things that scare me.