Tuesday, July 7, 2015

One Four Seven: Hypochondria

There are fears that I've been developing. I'm not sure where they've come from, really, but they're there.

This is a summer when I wish there were new and intriguing things in the realms of romance and sex to write about. I haven't found any new issues to consider, and that does bother me. Am I running out of energy and interest in sex and romance, or is it just that this summer is a lull? In a better world, there would be lovely young girls asking me questions or suggesting topics for me to write about. In this world, though, I seem to be left on my own.

I seem to be developing fears I haven't experienced before, and they are paralyzing. I've been afraid of things before. That much is true. I went through a phase of being afraid to fly that kept me trapped in a single city for a long time.  I got over that, of course.  I overcame that fear the simplest way in the world--- a lovely young girl summoned me to another city, and she told me we had a room booked in a hip hotel. What else could I do but pack a weekend bag and drive to the airport?

The new fears are as paralyzing as my old fear of flying, though. I'm now deeply, deeply afraid of my own body. I'm afraid of my body betraying me, of the flesh itself betraying me and leaving me open to derision and revulsion.

I'm afraid to go out to dinner. Let's start there. I won't go out with a girl if dinner is involved. I'm terrified that I'll be stricken with some kind of gastric upset--- the most humiliating and disgusting of all fleshly failures. I'm afraid of all the things that my body can do to drive away a girl I might be with.

There are failures that the Blue Pill might overcome. I recognize those, and I recognize my age.  But those aren't the failures that leave me paralyzed.

I'm afraid of flesh right now. I'm afraid of all the gastric problems and upsets that would leave me no choice but to flee any girl I might be with. I'm afraid of anything that symbolizes bodily decay, that symbolizes the failures of the body. I can imagine myself before a rendezvous--- scrubbing my skin over and over, using any chemical means I could find to make sure that my internal processes are tamed, controlled, silenced, halted.

I remain terrified of what my body could do to humiliate me in front of a lovely girl. If I had a date tonight, I'd be taking pills to put it back under my control. No, again, not the Blue Pill. Other things, other issues. The things the Blue Pill is designed to correct don't leave me that afraid, really. I have other skills that could make up for that--- I do tell myself that.

I can see myself scrubbing my skin 'til it bleeds. I can see myself taking pills and using chemical treatments to keep my body from betraying me. But I can't see those things working. I can't see those things making my body anything I'd trust to be seen or touched by a lovely girl. I could never ask a lovely girl to touch anything as contemptible as my flesh.

This is hypochondria; I know that. But that knowledge doesn't stop me from wanting to scrub and cleanse and use whatever chemicals I can find to make sure that my body isn't something that will betray me, that will make girls turn away in disgust.

So--- let's say that we're trapped inside by fear of gastric upset and decaying, putrefying flesh, by fear of being found...unclean. Let's say that we can't go out, that we can't risk being seen or touched. Let's say that these are fears that aren't going away.

1 comment:

ms.gylcerides wilde ride said...

Emily Dickinson eschewed most touch to the point the dress makers had to measure her sister Lavinia, instead. Some days I can understand how she felt. Other days it's not that I mind being touched, it's that I don't have the patience to coach anyone new. That's why I often find chance, unplanned encounters best for breaking out of that mode. It's like any phobia---once you face it, it goes away. There are also simple precautions you can take like papaya digestive enzyme with meals, lots of water, easy on the beer. Those are things that I picked up, the horror of being seen as un-feminine was always a concern. You certainly aren't the only one to worry over these things; but just let someone fall into your arms and it will sort itself out.