Saturday, January 29, 2011

Writing Prompt 16: Daydreaming

I get ticks. OCD phases. Compulsions. I don't know if I would say I have an addictive personality, but my picked acne scars and my forever raw, chapped lips would say otherwise. I have always had a fear of being pushed in front of a subway or into the tracks. My first week in New York, while I was waiting for the 6 train, a man came up behind me and told me that I should be careful standing so close to the edge of the platform. Someone might push me in. He was clearly psychotic, but his words left an unforgettable mark on me- a nervous 18 year old just becoming acquainted with New York City and the belly of the beast- the Subway system. I have often daydreamed worst-case scenario situations. Like if I am driving up the 405 North on-ramp from the 10 freeway in LA and my brakes lock and I can't make that turn, would my car fly off the freeway or would I bounce off the divide like a pinball machine? If that man following behind me too close for comfort comes up to me with a knife in his hand what will be my first reaction? Will I fight to the death? Or will I outwit him by telling him I am the daughter of the head of the Armenian Mafia and if he touches me he will have his testicles force fed to him? Morbid, I know, but these are some of the things I think about. They are not fantasies but more daydreams, residual of an overactive imagination. When I was six or seven I wrote and drew a story about a father that is shot and killed and how his daughter must survive and find the killer. Which came first? The over-exposure to violence in movies and television or the savior complex?  Though I do think I had snuck a peek at The Terminator playing on tv around the time I wrote that story.  As of late, my phobia of being pushed into the subway tracks has become more and more powerful to the point where I start to step back when the train comes and even look around me for someone standing within pushing range. Perhaps it is fed by all these "subway jumper" stories I heard around the holidays. But either way, I think stepping away from the platform is a good idea in general. The good news is if I am ever pushed, I have daydreamed about it enough to know where to lie if the train is barreling down. It's good to be prepared. 

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