Fear has many faces, and tonight one shows through. For as I sit here in the middle of night, wrapped in darkness with nary a sound to be heard or anything seen besides my hands as they type away, a malevolent growling appears behind me, seemingly from the blackness of night itself. It’s Rotz, one of our dogs; I must have awakened him in my midnight travel to the recesses of my office.
I smile as I look over my left shoulder, for there in the inky black of the unlit hallway ten feet behind me, I can just make him out, sitting on his haunches, two pin pricks of light at the centers of his eyes staring me down. His rusty lower smile and chest, his tiny brawny paws the only color to him, as he is black as night otherwise. He is a shadow after the sun has gone. And though he often greets me this way when I work, with a low and lasting growl, one meant for attention and not to be ignored he says, I sometimes find it troubling.
“Hey Rotzy, what’s up buddy?”
He doesn’t answer. I go back to work and begin tapping away at the keys but barely get a few words in before again… the growl… more insistent this time, with a bit more attitude than usual I notice, and he is closer than before, though I heard not his approach. He is eight feet away now.
I look back, not completely, just a bit, and sure enough he is within the walls of my darkened word lab, sitting, staring at the back of my head, just two tiny lights centered in his blackened eyes—the eyes of a shark.
“All good buddy, just working,” I murmur to him, not too loud, as if I don’t want to excite him – and I type on.
Three maybe four words in… he growls good and long, deeply… nearly at my back now, as though he is gliding across the floor between my glimpses. I have heard nothing of movement each time, only he is much closer – too close I think.
I draw it out, trying to relax him with my words, but don’t look back this time, knowing he is directly behind me. The throaty rumbling continues and I imagine those black orbs staring holes in the back of my neck, the obsidian nails of his paws grabbing at the carpet, seeking purchase for his launch. His muscles binding, lip sneering to either side, exposing his canines…I type on….
This time there is not only a growl which reverberates from the walls of our little prison, but a bark… and I turn just in time….to fall on him from my chair and wrestle all 7 pounds of him into my arms. For though Rotz by name and marking, my little buddy is but the representative for the Dachshund side of our two Cheweenies – Moco and Rotz, and not a 180 pound Rottweiler of Damian’s 666 stable.
Rotz being the liaison for the German side of our little mutts – or designer dog as they are now referred – and Moco representing Mexico and all its glory. Our boys, as we refer to them, their names also stand for something in both German and Spanish, being – booger. Yep, our little boogers, pretty vicious.
And as I was never in any real danger, it came to me that in life we seldom are – ever. But that does not mean we do not create for ourselves scenarios most frightening, so much so we sometimes choose not to even experience them or go through with our day, which may include; an interview, oral exam, a trip to the proctologist, or the ever horrifying PUBLIC SPEAKING GIG!!!! DA DA DAAAAAA!!!!
Yes, all trivial if you really think about them, for each deals with one thing we all have in common – our real selves. And just as you have your make believe fears, so do I. And when we all realize this about one another then everything else should come a little easier. So fear not, step forth into the day, make your way.
Feel free to growl when you have to.
Article by Chris Frost.
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