A Fear of Certain Sharks

Dear Fear,

I was told by a character in a cute little movie that you used caution to keep me safe—

—So please explain to me why I’m scared of sharks in my swimming pool.

Because though there are times that I trust you, I come to question your methods around the time I start wading into the deep end, and I become convinced that underneath my floating feet awaits a frenzy of sharks, ready to eat.


It’s actually kind of amusing—you remind me of a shark. Not the kind in the real world, where the beasts move gracefully through the open waves— you aren’t beautiful or peaceful enough to be compared to one of them. I’m referring to the sharks in the movies, the kind that target innocent people scattered on the shorelines and send shockwaves of fear shuddering down their spines.


When you decide to rear your head, you are leviathan. You rush up to meet me with devastating force, slamming into my senses and sinking your jaws into my insecurity. As you toss me from the tide you rip into my rational thought and wrench into my reason. The rest of the sea is curtained by clouds of crimson as you cut into my consciousness and bleed me of my confidence. No matter my pounding, and hollering, and screaming, you refuse my release until you decide it’s time to do so.


When hours of struggling to keep my head above the waves end with me bobbing in your wake, I sometimes get a chance to breathe. I’ll let my body stray blissfully like a solitary buoy, resting silently and feeling the breeze on the open sea. When you’ve finally deserted my senses and I’m left with nothing but me and the stars to drift alongside, I will embrace the sense of numbness, the quiet, the relief.


 And I will do so with no fear, because I I’ve come to find that the beasts inside my head are the ones with sharper teeth.


Sincerely yours,

Breaking free of the food chain



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