The Horrors of Life, or How I Learned Anxiety Will Always Win

It’s Spooky Season! So, what better time to recognize the general horrors of every day living, those things you encounter that raise your anxiety, the things that are more frightening than any ghoulies and ghosties (except maybe those ghosties of poor souls who died mid-coitus so you have one that’s moaning for real and the other ghost that’s pretending to moan but you can tell they’re not really into it and they’re stuck like that for eternity).

Don’t worry, no politics. That’s a different level of scary.

One of the scariest things I encounter is the person I know I’ve met at least three times, and at this point, that person knows my name and says my name next time we see each other and I can’t say, “geez, I’m sorry, tell me your name again, you know, for the fourth time because you’re clearly not memorable.”

Boo! Everything causes cancer! Double boo! You’re probably getting retinal cancer from reading this on a screen. Not–No, this blog does NOT cause cancer. I mean, it doesn’t cure cancer, for sure, but I don’t think it’s a carcinogen. I better invent a blog filter that I’ll sell for $19.95 just to be safe (15 years after blogging was relevant, great business plan, me).

There are a shocking number of people you drive next to, work with, give money to, get money from, rely on, talk to or walk by that are on some varying level of intoxication. Whether that be prescription numbing, boozed into indifference, smoked to complacency, snorted into compliance, it is shocking how many people need help to cope from sun up until sundown and are really good at masking that fact, at being essentially catatonic or worse, dangerously reckless.

By @jshaltz. Prints available on his Etsy page.


Which really leads me to the horror of how out of control I/we really are. I can’t control anyone’s reactions. I can barely control my own emotions. Sometimes I think I can control the cleanliness of my own home, but if I could, then why do I keep having to dust? Any cleaning I do is just a temporary shifting of dirt to create the illusion of cleanliness. In some ways I envy hoarders. Dust collects on a surface? Stack something new on top of it! It’s brilliant in its simplicity. But then the stack of stuff falls and crushes you? You died before realizing what little control you really had! Okay, I think I’ve lost control of this narrative.

If you want to know the true horrors that are out there, ask a single friend of yours for two, just two recent online dating tales they have. It is truly astounding the lack of self-awareness and general social intelligence that a number of people have. It shouldn’t be as shocking to me as it is, given the tsunami of dunderheads spitting their brain queefes onto social media with the confidence of the town drunk who caught the winning touchdown 15 years ago.

This is @jshaltz again. Here’s the Etsy for prints again.

Yet, when you hear the stories of how people can hold back their crazy enough to get to the first date and then go on a long tirade against their ex, their mom, a teacher they once had in 3rd grade, followed by a connected recitation of an essay they wrote about women in Star Wars, well, even for a person who vents my eccentricities on the internet for no perceptible benefit, it’s weird. How do these people hold down jobs? I get the people flying high on Oxycontin as they type an email, I don’t get people who don’t know it’s not appropriate to talk about your medical anomalies before the appetizer arrives.

These are the Babadooks of everyday living, the Slender Men of internet dating, the poltergeists of dust bunnies, or maybe it’s just the gremlins you work with, that you sit next to…there might be one next to you right now! Happy Halloween, everyone.


Add yours →

  1. That is a horror show: The 320 million Americans wandering around out there on the precipice. Any of them at any kind could decide that Beatles lyrics or the neighbor’s dog has told them to go ahead with their plans to start taking people out.


  2. Crap on toast! I often thought about strangling my midnight shift co-worker to death, well, almost every time I went to work. But then, I realized I would be stuck with hiding her body and doing all the work in the lab until they found someone to take her place. Instead, I feigned hearing loss just so she wouldn’t come and talk to me.


  3. Jeez, you’re in top fighting form with this post, Pickleope! I enjoyed every word! Don’t snap and kill me though.


  4. I had good fortune with internet dating. Yes, I am the one person who found someone worthwhile through an online hook-up. However, I was in a public place recently and someone put her arm around me to hug me and called me by name. I looked at her carefully and blurted, WHO ARE YOU? She told me her name. I work with her. She sits about half a dozen desks away from me. Now, that kind of thing happens to me all the time.



  5. Life is full of horrors some more scary then others like my sister in the morning before a fag & a coffee


  6. Thanks for reminding me I’m about 2 degrees away from being a total full on hermit. People are bad, stay inside with cats.


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