The Fear

Nobody’s really afraid of the dark.  Or else you’d be dribbling urine with every blink, instead of only when you try to convince yourself that there isn’t a mutant alpaca frothing with rabies in your closet and waiting for the chance to tear into your carotid artery the moment you separate from your yellow blankey.  We know you’re in there, Rabpaca!  AND YOU’RE NOT SCARING WINNIE-THE-FUCKING-POOH TONIGHT, EITHER!

But I digress, what people are afraid of is spiders.  And little bugs that fly into your eye sockets.  Or the police.  I’m trying to say that taking out the garbage can be, for a certain, exceedingly-brave subset of amazing individuals, kind of…terrifying.

Look, when the trash-collection area is at least 100 meters from your doorstep and the only things illuminating the path through obscenely overgrown underbrush and a deserted alleyway are two strangely unsettling LED streetlights, then you might want to take your chances with Rabpaca, too.  This is Japan, though.  So the trade-off for a laughably low crime rate and a police force that doesn’t automatically resort to excessive force (e.g. America) is double the size and amount of spiders, while miraculously managing to quadruple the amount of icky-wicky insects.  What’s that?  Oh, you’re one of the awful human beings who doesn’t think things with more than four legs are completely abhorrent?  Yeah, try putting one on your scrotum.  Then we’ll see how you feel…eww, bruh.  That was a joke.  But it’s also important to note that I don’t judge.  That can’t be sanitary, though.  Get your wet-wipe game up.

Can you at least see where I’m coming from, here?  Because I’m going to make you.  Welcome to the first-person plural, motherfuckers.  When WE tiptoe out our door at 11 p.m., trash bag in one hand, purple lightsaber in the other, then we know it’s not gonna be another simple rumble with infectious farm animals invading our subconscious.  Not tonight.  As soon as we take one step into the darkness, we’re hit in the right shoulder by an unknown, but most certainly bloodthirsty, creepy thingy.  We jump into the air, drop the lightsaber that never existed, and slap the Jesus out of ourselves until the curse words all start to sound the same.  The trials have only begun, though.  Now, we must face the Catacombs:  a 30 meter section of untamed yard that separates the world of the living from the dead, ripe with annoying-ass grasses that reach to our chest, tickling the bare arms extending from our Tupac tank, and probably filled with thousands of species of spiders and their horrific prey.

A dash into the brush.  A pause.  A path, carved by the tiny tires of our compact car.  We tread in silence, weary of the swaying plants plotting murder.  So we push the trash bag ahead of us, hoping to lure the nasties away.  But terror strikes again!!  A spider web wraps around our legs, something solid and large scrapes against our exposed knee.  We make a run for it, leaping and kicking our feet in the air, hoping to knock the vicious arachnid from our limbs.  A few, gazelle-like seconds later, we find ourselves in the Alley of Normally Pleasant Neighborhood, a bit shaken, but never stirred.  (I know all about James Bond)

The streetlights glow unnaturally bright, a fog of perturbed moths hover around their orbs.  A car is parked near a driveway, obviously brimming with the ill-intent of old people who have decided to cause mayhem and breed hatred in everyone stuck behind their crinkly asses doing 30 km/h on a two-lane street with no places to pass.  We consider dumping all of our trash on their car and drawing penises with ketchup packets on their windshield, but refrain.  Sometimes they give us vegetables we never cook, and that’s actually really nice of them.  They don’t have to do that.  But the burdock sitting in the bottom tray of our fridge won’t help us now.  The Alley of Normally Pleasant Neighborhood beckons.  We take a step, inspecting our leg hair and basketball shorts for signs of movement.  The gazelle kicks did their job, it seems.  Now, we must face the Whispers.

The Whispers cannot be ignored.  There are little girls in spotless one-pieces mouthing things in Japanese that most likely aren’t promotions for their line of luxury hair products.  Their ethereal forms appear over our shoulder, then up the street, and then fade into the shadows of fences, the frames of windows.  We continue our journey to the Collection Cage, anyway.  No more looking back.  The Whispers drawl mournfully into the night as we approach the streetlight, finally aware of the futility of their marketing.  It’s all American brands over here, girlies.

Something rumbles behind the Collection Cage, then sends a trail of long grass quivering in a path to the woods.  We wait.  Breathe.  Try to recite rap lyrics that might scare away bitch-ass monsters not about that life.  Then we finally put our hand on the door of the Cage.  No other bags share the space, meaning everyone else who dared to venture out tonight were obviously all eaten alive by terrible insects.  We put the bag down, close the whining gate, and look around.  Quiet.  Too quiet.  So we hum Rick Ross to ourselves while walking hurriedly back to our house to drown out the Whispers, hands flailing through cobwebs in the Catacombs, and, at long last, arrive at our house.  We close the door, take a minute to compose ourselves, finish the last part of the Rick Ross song, and head into the living room to relax a bit before confronting Rabpaca.  Our trial is over for another week.

Or so we thought, until we hear the faint buzzing of unwelcome visitors around our ear.  We stand up, survey the room for signs of the utmost annoying.  Yes, there’s no doubt about it now.  We’ve let in the mosquitoes.

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