All I Need

From an old journal

When I was a little boy, I was scared of the basement. I was terrified of nothing in particular. I didn’t fear people under the stairs or aliens or a boogey-man. I feared the basement itself.

I wasn’t alone, though. I had a stuffed camel that protected me. His name is camel and he still lives up on the top shelf in my room. Camel didn’t have a personality attached to him or anything. He didn’t talk to me. He was just a stuffed animal that for some reason made it okay to go in the basement.

So, one day I got a plan to stop fearing the basement. It wasn’t a brilliant plan, since I was still very young, but it did work. I decided instead of being scared of the basement, I’d make it scared of me. So I made myself frightening, dangerous, deadly. It was all in my head, of course, but it changed everything. I could go into the basement without any fear at all. The whole basement would hold its breath as I passed by, hoping not to draw my wrath.

But the idea didn’t end there. It became natural for me. When I would be afraid of anything, inside I would change to become frightening to it instead.

Tonight, a old acquaintance IM’ed me quite out of the blue. We talked, much more freely than usual. She asked, “Why did you like to hurt people in relationships?” And I told her, “I didn’t want to be afraid of the basement.”