About those times I was insanely paranoid

August 21, 2007 at 12:36 am | Posted in crazy people, fears, i win at life, work | Leave a comment

When I was about seven years old, a really bad late summer thunderstorm rolled through my hometown.It wasn’t a tornado or anything, but it was pretty serious. There were loud rumbles of thunder that shook the house and big bolts of lightning that lit up the entire sky and made it seem like the sun was still out even though it was well after eight in the evening. The wind was so strong that the trees seemed have diagonal leaves, and a big hunk of shingles blew off my neighbor’s roof and landed against the sliding glass door of our living room. The lights flickered on, and then off, and then back on again before a loud click finally threw the entire town neighborhood into darkness. My little brother started to cry, and my mom began to scramble around the house looking for candles. And for me. She searched all through the second story of the house until she heard a faint whimpering coming from my bedroom closet. She opened the doors, turned on her flashlight, and there I was -sitting no the floor inside my closet, clutching a bright red suitcase. I jumped right up, wiped the tears from my face, and said my my best pretending-I’m-brave voice:

“I’m ready Mom!”

“Ready for what?” she asked.

“Ready to evacuate!”

See, I’ve always been paranoid, even when I was a little kid. A little rain and some thunder and I’m packing up my bright red suitcase full of books and pictures and ready to move into my FEMA trailer. This has never really changed, as anyone who knows me well will tell you that I can get more than a little paranoid from time to time. My latest episode of severe over-reaction occurred last Friday afternoon.  See, to get to and from work, I drive to a Park and Ride and take a trolley into the city. The trolley drops me off right near my office and saves me the aggravation of driving downtown and – most importantly – the cost of parking my car in a garage 5 days a week. In the afternoon the same trolley takes me back to my car and I go home. Friday afternoon was really hot and muggy, so as soon as I got into my car I started it up and reached over to turn the AC on full blast. Not even a second later, I heard a really loud POP! that scared the shit out of me. My immediate, paranoid thought was that someone was shooting outside. I mean, it is the city and I am a little bit crazy, what did you expect? I hate to admit this, but I think I may have actually ducked down in my seat for a couple of seconds until I realized that if someone was shooting, people outside in the parking lot would have been running and screaming. Instead, as I peeked over the dash, I saw that everyone was acting completely normal and starting their Friday commute home. Everyone except me that is. I was huddled in my car like an asshole thinking that a rogue shooter had wandered to the Park and Ride. Why do I do things like that? Why am I completely unable to think of any possible scenarios except for worst-case?

It wasn’t until I got home that I realized what the POP was. It was a pop. I mean, like a soda. I left an unopened can of Diet Pepsi in the back seat all day, and the heat finally made it explode just as I had gotten into the car. My bad!

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