kitchen sink

Posted on January 23, 2007


Sometimes I am afraid of my kitchen sink. Like when I start to drain it, and get back to washing the dish in my hand, the slurping gurgle that happens moments later startles me. After the wave of fear rushes through me, I worry that someone is watching me through the kitchen window and has just seen me jump while washing dishes and practicing my Oprah speech.

I practice my Oprah speech a lot. When I’m washing the dishes or taking a shower, usually. I should say speeches. I rehearse a lot of speeches, because I’m not quite sure yet why I will be on her show. My best-selling novel. My best-selling-novel-turn-movie that I write and direct myself. My empowering story of killing a man who tried to rape me, and my subsequent tour of the country teaching girls self-defense. My powerful and profitable company donating huge sums for education. I am ready for Oprah, but not the gurgles.

Gurgles. It is so strange that I would be afraid of the sucking sound of water down the drain. It’s so natural, earthy even. I am afraid of the natural. It was only the other day that my little dog Doodle started barking at this huge bug that was walking across our living room floor. The bug was big and scary, it looked like a queen bee-roach hybrid. From an evolutionary perspective, a queen-bee-roach hybrid is a totally valid thing to be afraid of. So Doodle would bark and look at me, and I would look at him. Neither of us could make the move. I was becoming more afraid because Doodle didn’t seem to think this creature was edible, and I’ve seen what Doodle will eat. Finally, I picked up my husband’s large shoe and dropped it on the bug, thinking it was sort of like fate deciding, if you believe that fate sometimes just drops a shoe on your head to see if you will survive it. The bug didn’t. I threw it in the toilet. I didn’t flush, thinking I was giving it another chance. It was only when I had to pee that the fear of having it re-animate and bite my ass really pushed me to take that last step. Gurgle.

I am afraid of rape too. I am especially afraid of being attacked when I am trail-running, or in a park, or in the woods. It’s probably statistically absurd, but I’m afraid of it. I think of it less when I am walking home on Valencia St by myself at 1am. It’s the idea that there’s some crazy, woman-starved outcast that dwells in the forest waiting for young athletic women to jog by. I walk by at least a dozen crazy, more-than-woman starved outcasts on my way home from work, but I somehow feel safety in numbers. How many crazies there are. How many of us commuters there are, ignoring their pleas for change. Solitude is what makes nature so scary.

So too with the kitchen sink. Perhaps the gurgle is reminiscent of some last lonely plea. Or maybe I just get scared more easily when I am alone, Oprah not beside me.

Posted in: paranoia