By John Proctor
When you realize that your worst fears are not of what you think them to be, but exactly the opposite. When you imagine the ice caps melting and sending a tidal wave crashing over your city, you are afraid of being priced out of your neighborhood. When you imagine the death of someone in your family, you are afraid of doing hundreds of small things that will make your spouse wish he or she had stayed with the person he or she’d been dating before you, or that your children will have to work out with their future therapists and/or religious cults. When you remember 9/11 fondly, perhaps it’s because the city’s temporary collapse drew deeper meaning, or at least a temporary respite, from the numbers you’d been coding for people’s reactions to personal hygiene products at the market research job you’d taken after being fired from your PR job and the advertising job before it. Perhaps when you imagine the worst possible scenario, you’re seeking to avoid the most obvious one: that you, like everyone else, are subject to the quotidian middle, where the best and worst possible scenarios are well beyond your reach.