Ted Wilson Reviews the World: Anxiety
Electric Lit relies on contributions from our readers to help make literature more exciting, relevant, and inclusive. Please support our work by becoming a member today, or making a one-time donation here.
★☆☆☆☆ (1 out of 5)
Hello, and welcome to my week-by-week review of the world. Today I am reviewing anxiety.
Anxiety is that crippling emotion you feel when you think horrible things are about to happen. I think Charlie Brown perpetually experienced this state. (He’s dead now, right?) At any rate, he was right to be anxious, because horrible things were always about to happen to him. He probably felt a brief sense of relief after each horrible thing happened, and then that was quickly replaced by more anxiety in anticipation of the next horrible thing.
What gives me the most anxiety is when I have to be somewhere on time in order to get a seat, like the movies or an airplane. That’s why if you ask me to play musical chairs I will slip into a mild catatonic state. I think that’s the worst game ever invented. Second worst is Russian roulette.
Some people have anxiety attacks. Fortunately I don’t suffer from those. Instead, my anxiety manifests itself in shivering, cold sweats, stuttering, and tunnel vision. When this happens my best bet is to go to sleep and hope everything has resolved itself by the time I wake up. If not, I got back to sleep and try again.
If that should fail, another great tactic to quell my anxiety is I make a piñata named Andy Anxiety. He is a manifested realization of my anxiety and I apologize that he’s Mexican. It’s not racist, but there is no such thing as an American piñata. The closest thing is a gumball machine.
I place Andy in the middle of the road and smash into him with my car, immediately getting out to collect all the candy before the neighborhood kids can get it. The revving of my engine is the only sound more intoxicating to the kids than the music of the ice cream truck.
Sleep indulgence and piñata effigies are great methods for treating my anxiety, but not for preventing it. The real trick is to never put yourself into an anxiety inducing position to begin with. For instance, if I want to see a film but I know arriving in time will make me anxious, I choose a different film that I know I don’t want to see and purposely go a day late. Or if I see a cute woman with whom I’d like to be acquainted, rather than walk over to her and ask her out, I’ll make my way toward a different woman for whom I have no interest and then continue right on past her.
My dream is to one day be anxiety-free. That’s how I imagine sloths to be. On the spectrum of anxiety in the animal kingdom, I think sloths are at one end and then hummingbirds are at the other. Their little hearts must race like crazy!
The only reason I am giving anxiety a star is because it makes me feel alive. It reminds me that there are scary things out there, and confronting them can be empowering. Not that I ever confront them, but it’s nice to know I at least have the option to do so if I ever grow emotionally.
BEST FEATURE: If you glance at the word it looks like it says “tiny axe” which sounds very cute. It makes me picture a tiny lumberjack.
WORST FEATURE: Anxiety can turn a pleasant afternoon into a sweat-drenched pair of slacks that are hard to explain.
Please join me next week when I’ll be reviewing Botox.