Fear is the one emotion I find uncomfortably hard to talk about. And it is not because my masculinity is too rigidly poised for me to acknowledge and accept my fears. Neither I am a ‘god’ in my sight, that I may ignorantly claim that I don’t have any fears. Although I rarely talk about them to others, only to myself at night, there are quite a number of things and situations that quickens my heartbeat. And so today I want to query my inmost cocoon about these things that literary stops my heart.

Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis. Phew! I have just googled and typed out my most awful dread. The moistened hands on the keyboard is making it a bit messy to type on. Let’s rest for a while. Hum! Better now. Growing up, my dad loved and taught the English language. And when he spoke, he would use simple common words in a beautiful way that kept me glued to his talks and sometimes, stories. I still fondly remember his speech when he was the guest speaker at my class eight prayer day. Elegantly eloquent.

On this day, and several days after, my share of staff-room's evening uji was always reserved. It is with no surprise therefore, that language usage is among the several things I looked up to him for. Like him, and most times accidentally better than him, I love to arrange common words in rhythmically beautiful patterns. In both writing and speech. In written forms when I encounter long words, my mind immediately perceives them to be hard and complicated. If it’s during my personal reading, to avoid the ugly panic state, I will assume and skip the word. But if it’s public reading, the fumbles will sure give you a good laugh.

When on high a place, the roof of an eighteen-story building, and you are standing at the edge looking down at the tiny dot people and moving vehicles. Do you ever have this insistent voice urging you to jump? And do you ever feeling like if you don’t get out of there fast, you will give in? Then, your hands supporting your body weight on the knee-height ramp begins to tremble. You know if you stay longer, you will give in to the now deafening voice in your head. But you can’t move. Your knees are weak. Your chest muscles tighten. You can’t breathe. And just when you’re about to let gravity have its way, a sudden bust of strength drags you away from the edge. Do you? Ops, seems like it’s only me.

But I love these high thriller activities. Standing on the edge. Skydiving takes number nine in the list of things to do before I die. In the case of long words, I will try the much I can to avoid reading them. I guess such is life. Changing the things you can change, and ignoring the things you can’t change. Fear makes us human.