#5 of 11 questions in 11 days, in response to Writingspiration:
What is your biggest fear?
I don’t particularly like heights. Airplanes I can handle. Mountaintops I like. But you won’t find me jumping off of either, and I have no desire to ride a hot air balloon. I guess you could say I’ve got both feet on the ground. However, acrophobia is not a significant problem for me. My biggest fear, as the title of this post indicates, is something else.
n. a fear of being buried alive
I have no real experience I can point to that I could say led to this fear. I’ve been in plenty of small spaces, even underground, but I will say that the smaller they get, the more nervous I become. I think two things contributed entirely to the development of this for me: 1) Baby Jessica, who I watched along with millions of other Americans, when cable news was still fairly new, be pulled from a well she had been trapped in for more than two days. What she probably had going for her is that she was too young to be afraid of small places, although she was in a very awkward position the whole time and couldn’t have been comfortable. 2) Learning about burials prior to the practice of embalming, when every once in a while someone would be buried, in a coffin, who wasn’t quite deceased yet. Those occurrences led some to rig a bell at the surface on a string that went into the ground and onto the person’s finger, so all they had to do was ring if they woke up. So I shall be cremated when I supposedly leave the realm of the living. I think being treated as dead would be a horrible way to die.
My fear has become so nerve-wracking for me that in 2010, when 33 miners in Chile were trapped underground for two months, I could hardly stand to think about it. But the worst part for me was their rescue, in which they had a 15 minute journey through a person-sized channel drilled through the earth above them. If the cable broke during the journey and they got stuck in the shaft, they would have wished they were still down below. Just teleport me, please!
I even find myself, when traffic signals force me to stop under overpasses, keeping as near as possible to the edge of the road above, just in case there is an earthquake. I’ve seen the collapsed highways in California, and I live a little too close for comfort to the New Madrid fault, thank you very much.
So all of this means that you will find me parachuting before you will find me spelunking, and you will never, ever find me parachuting.