A friend of mine, Kathleen Wilhoite, recently did a show on her podcast Suck the Joy about her and her co-host Koare Bonell’s personal fears. I found this interesting and thought I’d put in my thoughts on this subject. Though I’m going to be coming from a more raw and less amusing way of expressing this I think it will still be interesting and thought provoking…
Fear is a constant in life. The truth is that even the toughest marine is scared senseless when they go into battle. The difference is the way they handle it.
In my life I have constant fears that I deal with on a daily basis. Recently, one of those fears came true. My Uncle, Eric Von Falconer (Eric wasn’t actually a blood family member but he was as close as a family member), died. His death was very quick and unexpected. He had been forced to go to the doctor after a long period of not going because he was having radical weight loss. Within two weeks he was diagnosed with colon cancer and died from this condition. When he was diagnosed the cancer had traveled into his other organs. One of my major fears is that I could get some kind of cancer or illness and not know until it was too late to save me. The reason for this is because I don’t have medical insurance and simply can’t afford it. I live pretty much from paycheck to paycheck with nothing in reserve. It isn’t that I fear death. I’ve experienced and seen so much in life that I know we are more than biological machines and death is not like shutting off a mechanical device. Something of us goes on. I know some people don’t believe that, but I know that with every fiber of my being. My fear is that I end my life the same way he did painfully and without hope. I want to die peacefully. I know I will die alone, I’ve known that all my life. I guess that is one reason I’ve been so brave when I’ve ended up saving people (but I won't get into that here)…someone was with me (the person I was saving) so I believed I couldn’t die.
Another fear I have is a common one, and that is of becoming homeless and losing everything I have. This became an honest fear after my mother died. I kinda find it odd that it didn’t emerge when my father died. I think the difference was the fact that when my father died all his estate went to my mother so, life went on except my father was not there. After my mother died there was fighting and bad blood over the estate. Also, I went from an occupant to an actually land owner with all the obligations and burdens. Now, if we default on taxes or things get screwed up my sister and I could be thrown out on the streets. Except for the two years my family had to live in a rental house after our fire, I’ve lived in the same house all my life. I’ve set down roots. The idea of having no place to go scares the crap out of me. The worst part of it is I know that is a very real possibility sometime in the future. My sister and I barely keep the house going as it is. If something happened to my sister I’d be screwed. Though my sister often accuses me not realizing this, it goes through my mind on a daily basis.
Associated with this fear is my fear of being out of work and unable to find a job. As I’ve said, I live literally from paycheck to paycheck now. If I lose my current job I’m royally screwed. Oh, but you could look forward to unemployment, you say. Sorry, I’m an independent contractor. The company I work for hasn’t put a cent into unemployment. So, I lose my job and in no short order I don’t eat, I lose my phone, my internet disappears, and in a few months I’m homeless….fun. I’ve been trying to find a secondary part time job, but good luck with that given the state of things. Hell, we have newly graduated people with BA degrees working at Burger King. Good luck to a forty-eight year old, guy with arthritic knees and bone spears on his feet being much of a pick in the race for jobs. Add in the fact I’ve been the CEO of a company, that doesn’t make it any better. I have to shake my head…
Ok, with all the fun I've mentioned, here is my fear in regard to the horror genre. My fear is that after all the blood, sweat, and tears I’ve put in being Eric Morse the fickle fans of horror will forget me and my works will disappear. You asses out there have wondered why I get so angry when you call me a has been and fluff off my books as out of print, thus unimportant. This is all I have in regard to a legacy. I don’t have a wife or children and don’t expect to get any in the future…sorry ladies, but you’ve made it quite clear you don’t want me. The only lady I truly loved is lost to me… The only thing that I have that is any indication that I’ve even lived on this earth is the body of work I’ve created…My artwork, books, poetry, songs, scripts, films, and radio shows. But it seems that there are those out there that take sadistic pleasure in trying to push those things into insignificance and try to turn me into a ghost. So, you wonder why I turn into Sargent Slaughter when these ass wipes pull shit and say my work is nothing or I’m not good enough to be at their conventions and meet my fans, or even that my work isn’t significant enough to the modern horror genre to be worth of an article in their magazines or websites. I’m fighting for the only piece of immortality I will ever truly have. You fuck with that and I will be merciless and it will be bloody because I will not let that happen….ever.
So, when it comes to fears I have my share. I deal with them on a daily basis. In some cases I use them to gain strength or to motive myself. I don’t let my fears rule me or disable me. Fear is part of life; it’s how you deal with it that makes you a winner or loser or even a survivor…That is your choice….