He's never happy unless he has something to worry about.
--my dad explaining his father-in-law
Somewhere in some middle of the night in another dysfunctional family a granddad wracked with emphysema wanders out to the pink and gray dinette set for bourbon and Sugar Pops. He is the scariest person the child knows, a shrunken, twisted shell of arthritis, anger, and phlegm under a flickering florescent fixture. The apartment window lets in the light from Avenue C, just across the sidewalk to the curb. The table above yellowed linoleum at this hour lacks the tapping of a grandmother's manicured nails, her hearing aid buzz, and the jars of herring and pickled pigs feet.
Cut the old man a bit of slack for flying in the Great War. Slack can't cut through his funk of old age, of tar and nicotine stuck to the Venetian blinds, or through the viscous wreck of his lungs.
Some child on the hide-a-bed awake, watches old Grand-dad eat the Sugar Pops and wash them down.
There are so many things to fear, and middles of nights to fret.
I don't want to take nose-goobie preschool germs along on my trip. I sure don't want to get sick just now, and not be able to travel. Wikipedia considerately lists phobias alphabetically, and there are some doozies:
Aviophobia, Aviatophobia – fear of flying
Nosophobia – fear of contracting a disease
Phobophobia – fear of having a phobia or of fear
May I anxiously suggest these additional designations?
otorhinolaryngophobia--fear of ENT doctors and all associated ailments
streptoxmasphobia--fear of having strep throat on a holiday
conjunctivophobia--fear of waking up with pink eye
antibacteriophilia--aversion to nose-picking preschoolers and adults
anticipatoaviochondria--fear of getting sick before a big airplane trip
barfobaggophobia--fear of getting sick on a big airplane trip
General postkellogg disorder (GPKD) in the DSMV-IV--fear of breakfast cereals
Drosselmeyerphobia--fear of old granddad and other creepy old men
Boarding Group D--fear of having the middle seat between Old Grand-dad and Uncle Drosselmeyer
hypoaviodyspunctuosis--extreme fear of missing the flight
retrothermopsatactsatdysmentia--recurring fear of forgetting memorized Greek and Latin root words, with/without flashbacks, dreams or nightsweats
© 2013 Nancy L. Ruder