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The origin of my fear goes back to early childhood when things were greener, rainier, and bigger. Our house was a cabin in the woods and it was so big to me. Our car was a wood paneled Oldsmobile wagon, and it was big enough to hold a family of three, a German shepherd, and all of their pain. The wagon bumped over the gravel driveway and hauled us places, but we always came home to the cabin. Fear overwhelmed me in this house. I felt the pangs of worry and anxiety as a small kid. It was difficult to name.

It started among the shoes at the front door, where I sat and waited. I waited for my dad to get ready to leave for a week or two on end. And I would wait there for his return. He was a truck driver. I don’t remember his face then. I don’t remember the good-byes or the hellos. My memories are suspended in the soup of anxious waiting. My memories hang in a jar. I sit with my sadness and with the leaving. The strong sense of gone-ness. The absence. I sit with it in my deep dark core. This is the beginning of my fear. The fear that I will always be waiting for something. So many clues along the way feed this fear until it is almost unapproachable. But I remember its birth. On the cold square of linoleum by the door. Sitting on the coldness outlined in gold trim. The carpet was too soft and comfortable. The cold matched me. Fed me. Reminded me of my loneliness. The shoes were my company. That is all. Boots and shoes for companions.

Photo credit: Hamed Saber / Foter / CC BY

Photo credit: Hamed Saber / Foter / CC BY