I remember the first time I knew what fear was. In the deep of the night, I was dreaming of dark shadows chasing me, the furniture levitated and flew around the room, things changing the shape and finally the monster caught up with me. I jerk awake and I’m the only one awake. The house and my family were asleep. The darkness of the house, no noise, no one conscious to see the shadows of monsters. No one was aware of the dangers lurking there. I lay there looking at the real shadows around me. The bathroom light was on across the hall and thur the bedroom door flew a long shadow on the wall. A tall monster or man or thing from under my bed? No one was awake to help me before the shadows got me. That’s when I knew fear. Paralysing fear.
The next time I remember fear was when the railroad incident happened. My sister and I went across the railroad tracks which was forbidden. We went across to go to the little store and a playground behind a school over there. On the way back we heard a train whistle, so we started running. Trying to beat the train. It was close. Real close. About two city blocks when we crossed the tracks. Or should I say I ran across. My sister got her shoe stuck sliding under a tie. I was going down the hill and she wasn’t behind me so I looked back. There she was, standing on the track and the train was about a block and a half away. I stepped a couple of step further but knew I couldn’t stand there and watch my sister get run over by a train so I ran back. I got behind her and jerked. That worked and we got off the tracks about second and a half before the train barreled down us. Oh by the way the engineer laid on his horn the whole time. He probably knew fear there himself. I know he cursed us for years for trying a stunt like that but we were kids and did stupid things. That’s why it was forbidden to go across the tracks. Don’t play around railroad tracks. Momma said. I have known fear through out my life but not paralysed with fear. My butt checks tighten up a bit from time to time but not that afraid.
I was very afraid in 2006. My fellow choked on a piece of steak. I was going to do the Heimlich on him. He’s a big boy and I couldn’t put my arms around him. I made him sit down at one of the dining room chair then I punched him in the bread basket as hard as I could . I was afraid but I knew what to do. The punch cause him to vomit and there was that piece of steak. Lying under the vomit. He said, “you sure can hit for a little person.” Now he chews up good so I can’t punch him again.