Acrophobia: The Fear of Heights
It's time to talk about the things that crawl, bump, and growl while your eyes are closed. The darkness that creeps in while you are broken in a corner, relying on nothing but runoff that drops form the ceiling above you. Our most grotesque sufferings and inglorious embarrassments. It's time to FACE YOUR FEARS.
This week, we're covering Acrophobia, aka the fear of heights. Though one in three people claim to have discomfort or fear about being high in the air, the term Acrophobic is reserved for those only who have "extreme, irrational and persistent fears of heights and situations associated with them."
Now, let's dive into someone who has Acrophobia and is discovering it for the first time.
"Come on, Jolie!" My friends chanted while pulling themselves up the spindly tree. My feet turned inward, I scratched the inside of my left palm.
"I think I'll just stay down here!" My heart skidded across the hollow ridges of my ribs.
"No, Jolie, come on you have to come up!" They giggled, mocking her jiggly knees.
Not wanting to disappoint, I placed one hand on the branch just above my reach, standing on my tiptoes so I could wrap my fingers around it.
"Fine, but if I fall, I'm never listening to any of you again." They just giggled more, bodies becoming shadows as they climbed higher.
Reaching one hand above the other, I pushed off the bark, pulling myself toward the tree, keeping my balance close. The tingles in my fingers faded as each branch held my weight, the iron noose around my muscles loosened as I evened my berated breath and the light sprinkling between the fettered leaves soaked into my skin, giving me the energy I needed to keep up with the rest of the group.
I caught up with Germ, his name was Jeremy, but Germ was his name because of too many obvious reasons. He was picking his nose.
"Hey Germ." I pulled over a branch and sat down, leaning against the main hull of the tree.
"Hey, Jolie. Glad you came up." He wiped his fingers on his hand me down pants, holes in the knees and frays at the ends.
"How come you didn't go up farther?" I smiled, it was fake, but it was the nice thing to do.
"I looked down." He looked up, sweat soaked his neckline.
"It can't be that bad." I peered down. My throat closed, the air detonated into acridity. My ears popped, explicit ringing disrupted my equilibrium. The oxygen turned to water and it coated my lungs, forcing me to claw at the bark.
My fingernails bled, I could see that, but they bubbled and danced like lobsters in butter on a skillet.
A hand reached out, I knew it was Germ's but waves skewed my vision.
Beep. Beep. Beep.
Crusted eyelids cracked, a strong light seared me back to shutting them.
Beep. Beep. Beep.
It felt like an anvil was laying on my chest, I groaned.
"Oh my gosh! She's awake! Honey, she's awake!"
My tongue felt like paste, I slit my eyes, turning the anchor that was my neck. Mom stood over me.
"Don't move sweetie, I'll get the doctor."
I sat up, pushing my hands on the bed, the inside of my eyelids swallowed me like moby dick in the mouth of the whale.
It was like being placed under liquid cement, I could hardly remember to open my eyes. There was a lot of sound, but nothing i could make out. It all sounded like static coming through a dollar store blow horn.
But one thing that made my heart plummet, one thing that shocked me out of my rooted sleep. It was Germ's voice.
"She's been in a coma for twenty years."
Thank you for reading! Please leave a comment below on your thoughts! Talk to y'all next week!