Lifestyle & Culture

When Fear Wins

August 16, 2020



I MAY have enemies, but if so they have not shown themselves. Except for one, and it’s a big one, and so far unconquerable. It’s not a being, human or otherwise, but a feeling. It’s Fear. As we all know, Fear is quite popular. Most people have cowered beneath it —or him or her, not sure what pronouns it goes by—at one time or another. Usually it just makes me uncomfortable in certain situations, like on an airplane, or keeps me from getting a good night’s sleep. But this time it has greatly altered plans I was excited about.

At the end of August, my husband and I were going to spend a week on Monhegan Island, 12 miles off the coast of Maine in the Atlantic Ocean. We rented a tiny two-room cabin atop the highest point of the island, affording spectacular views and a strenuous hike up and down into town. We were looking forward to it until a friend of mine, who happens to be a medical professional, reminded me that there are no doctors or nurses on the island, in fact no medical care of any kind. What would I do if I felt sick, like when I had my heart attack three years ago, or if my blood pressure spiked in the middle of the night?

I shrugged off her comments, but they invaded my dreams that night and have been rattling around my brain ever since. A little research revealed that A, an artist exactly my age died there of a heart attack two years ago and B, in the event of an emergency a Life Flight helicopter would be summoned and I would be flown to the closest hospital on the mainland. Hey, what fun! (No.)

So Fear won out, and I canceled the reservation and instead we are going somewhere equally beautiful on the mainland within a reasonable ambulance drive to a hospital. I’m not proud, but I am relieved. Maybe in my next life I will conquer that particular enemy, but for now I am relatively confident that my next life won’t start while I’m on vacation at the end of this month.

—Andrea Rouda

Andrea Rouda blogs at The Daily Droid.

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