One day after a grueling shift at work, I dragged myself through my front door. As I put my belongings down, there was a very loud buzzing sound. Low and behold there was a bee in my apartment! Finding an insect, bug or spider in a living space isn’t unusual; what puzzled me is that my roommates and I live on the top floor of a multi-level apartment building. No one was home, and all the windows had been closed all day. This situation was unusual!
Terrified, I ran for cover. The beast was not going to get me. Not today, not ever! Waiting for my roommates to come home seemed like an eternity, even if it was only 20 minutes. As I look back at an evening filled with shrieks, boisterous laughter and a roommate armed with a trusty dusty broom and fencing mask, I realize my fear of bees is mostly, but not entirely irrational.
It comes from moments when I was much younger, when I wore floral lotion, scents that attracted many a stray bee to land on me. “Hold still, there’s a bee on you” haunts me to this day. I remember being on Summer break, playing outside, when nefarious buzzing broke up our playful shenanigans. I was a hostage to the black and yellow monster (even if it was no bigger than a quarter). I would stand as still as a department store mannequin until the bee flew off to find a flower, or another victim.
My rational side of that fear comes from the fact that to this day (and please note that I’m approximately 297 years old) I have never been stung by a bee. When I have had the unfortunate luck of getting drained by a mosquito, the bite area swells up and turns red. Antihistamines such as Benadryl and I are best pals. Obviously bees are different from mosquitoes, but the question does arise. If I’m allergic to a horrendous blood sucking skeeter, how will I react to a bee sting? I don’t plan on finding out any time soon.
As a writer, I do my best to know my characters intimately. I know their favorite colors, songs that might be played at their funeral, etc. One way I try to make them interesting or memorable is to give them specific likes or dislikes, intense hopes and fears. In my novel Gypsy Kisses and Voodoo Wishes, no matter how mean Queen Patia is, she will always love sweets. Another example that will be revealed in a future story is that Grandmother is deathly afraid of frogs!
So friend, do you have any fears, rational or irrational that you’d like to share?