On Monday, I went to an event with some of my friends. We had a perfectly nice time at the event itself, and then a bit of a kerfuffle after it ended, because I didn’t have very much time for dinner, and wanted to grab a burrito outside, and my friend wanted not to be cold. ‘It’s a bit cold,’ she pointed out. I looked at her dismissively. It was quite cold, and it looked as if it were about to rain, but it was June 1st. What had she expected? I myself was wearing a knitted polo-neck, and a winter coat, but to be fair, I would have worn that whatever the outside conditions, because one of my daily fears is being cold.
Daily fears are very different to greatest fears, or even actual fears. They are panic-inducing nightmares that creep insidiously into even the happiest of days, and have to be managed by a rigorous regime of stern self-talking to and probability exercises. Here are some of mine:
1. Being in a public washroom, putting the soap on my hands and being unable to work the taps. Eventually, I am forced to leave, and spend the rest of the day smearing liquid soap over everything I touch, like an overly-hygenic Midas acolyte.
2. Opening one of the Virgin Train loo doors when someone is inside it. Being in a Virgin Train loo is a clearly marked, two step process. There’s one button to close the door, and a second to lock it. The difference, though not immediately apparent, will be very clear once I press the ‘open door’ button, and we both have to stare at one another for an excruciating, unbearably long 30 seconds whilst you reach up to lock the door.
3. Someone trying to shake my hand when I have a tampon in it.
4. Squeezing into a loo that isn’t really big enough (because of shoddy architecure. I am well within the limits for reasonable loo-going humans), turning around awkwardly and falling into the open loo.
5. Taking off my jeans to go to the loo (taking off might be a bit strong. Removing my jeans to a normal and convenient level for weeing), and watching something skid out of my pocket into the next door cubicle. The ensuing scrabbling under stranger’s loo cubicles scarcely bears thinking about.
I did end up eating a burrito outside. I didn’t have a beer though, because of daily fear no.86: desperately needing to do a wee whilst stuck on the tube.