Last night I went walking in my neighborhood after the sun had set. We have odd-looking street lamps that cast a soft orange glow on the sidewalks but they cast this glow sporadically. Some streets are well-lit and others are dark and spooky. I remembered playing a game as a kids where I would force myself to walk in the dark and imagine all the scary things that were there hiding and ready to jump out and get me.For some reason children like to be scared hence the invention of the roller coaster. I don’t like to be scared anymore. I have really had enough of fear and don’t like it when it appears in my life. Fear is bad for your body anyway. Think about it. When you are afraid you feel a terrible feeling in the pit of your stomach and an almost sickening sense comes over you. Your heartbeat speeds up and your skin becomes clammy. There are a lot of people in the world who are in this state most of the time. Say soldiers, for instance, or some cops, abused women or children, and small animals who have no place to hide. Fear is an ugly and dangerous force as it debilitates both humans and animals and makes their lives different from those who have little fear. We go into the state of fear so rapidly in todays’ world. One minute we are outside having fun and the next we are terrified as the war is escalating, the market is falling, our house is being foreclosed or our children are in danger. I think life was easier a generation ago. There was a lot to lose then too but not as much fear. People had their families to count on and to shelter them. You could go home to your wife who wore a Betty Crocker apron and have a nice dinner, watch the evening news and go to sleep. You could do this all across America.That’s why I like to walk in the newly dark evening. I started this habit as a child. In our neighborhood there was a lot of land around the houses so in order to see into them you had to walk up very close and peer into windows. I used to take evening walks when our Dad was out-of-town as then we had an early dinner and were supposed to be doing our homework. I liked some houses better than others as they were cozier and more interesting. The smaller the house was , the more apt I was to see a whole family sitting together. This was what I liked to find as it made me happy. Looking into the window of a happy family was and is infinitely comforting to me as it reassures me people still can find a place to live without fear. The house size correlation seems to be still as true as it was 50 years ago. Last night I saw a house that was smaller than all the rest and inside the window I could see an older couple watching TV. The house looked comfortably used and had a slouchy sofa with an old fashioned TV. For a moment I thought they were watching a DVD of Walter Cronkite but then I saw it was Animal Kingdom. I would like to be watching Animal Kingdom on a slouchy sofa with some guy I loved. in a cozy house with drapes instead of Levelour shades.
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