3 days ago
Dinner for One: Mark IX - The Horror
Finally made it back to camp. So it’s cold drumsticks and salad in the gloaming.
I never really got over my childhood fear of the dark. Over the years I’ve managed it, mitigated it somewhat, but the testicle-clenching terror that creeps in with the shadows doesn’t leave one so easily. (And nobody at the camping store tells you that a squirrel sounds like a sabre-toothed tiger in the night woods.) For example: last week, while cutting some blackberry bushes on my ridge I came across a 20’-round patch that had been trampled down by a bear. Moments before, as its still warm stool was on the trail I was working. I put my ear protection back on and kept cutting. No fear. I had a knife and being Canadian, know how to handle myself with a wild animal. (We also know how to make love in a canoe, but I’ll save that for another post because it requires multiple diagrams and a protractor.) That night I returned home late from Wayside and took a pee at the edge of the driveway before I went up to the cabin. A cat (maybe bobcat) streaked out of the woods and bolted past me. I screamed. I may have squealed. Possibly squeaked. I certainly sprayed. The dark does that.
Nietzsche said (paraphrasing here), “that which does not kill you makes you stronger.” No. That’s laughably wrong to those who fear. And I’d like to point out that after he wrote that he went insane.
With all due respect to Nietzsche (and Bettelheim for that matter), that which does not kill you simply waits for a more opportune moment. And it’s usually at night.
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