Lately I've been reading Nobel Prize-winning book, The Appointment, by Herta Muller, Romanian-born author who writes of characters living during the Romanian dictatorship.
A chilling tale of many flash-backs with well-written, poignant first-person narrative, the work echoes with characters living out of fear.
There is a time when the main character shares a horrifying discovery to her friend Lilli of a narrow package in her purse containing a human finger with a black nail. Through this she implied someone was out to get her.
Unmoved by the tale, Lilli retorts with a experience something along these lines: Once I bought a jar of pickles which I ate in 2 sittings. When I stuck my fork in the jar to pull out the last one, clinging to the fork was a dead mouse. Do you think someone was out to get me? No. Anyone could have bought that jar of pickles.
Lilli lived her life as though she had something to gain. Her friend was the opposite. Daily she saw the things she had to lose, suspecting folks around her while amplifying her own dismal circumstances.
Many of us today, in our own country, our own city, our own homes live life with Fear in the Driver's Seat. We hold ourselves back by focusing on the What If's. The look in our wild eyes or slanted, questioning visage tells the world our tale. Someone's out to get me.
It isn't that life has given us lemons as much as the fact that we chose to squeeze their stinging juice into already opened cuts while running away screaming. So of course we are confirming that someone's out to get us. It's us.