We all thought the old man at the corner store was weird, but nothing prepared me for the first fear he bought from me.
I didn't have enough money for a bus pass, and he offered to cover the difference if I would sell him my fear of the dark.
What the hell, right? I needed that bus pass to be able to see my friends, and god knows Mom didn't have the money.
He waved his hands in front of my face and said some words I didn't understand, and I had my pass.
I slept like a baby that night.
Soon, he had bought a few other things from me. My fear of spiders for some bubble gum. My fear of vampires for some ice cream. My fear of the principal for some fireworks.
The purchases got bigger as I got older, and the fears got less silly. My fear of cancer for some smokes. My fear of the police for a six-pack. My fear of prison for a skin magazine.
I fell in with the wrong crowd, like you'd expect, and then came the obligatory drugs. He gave me a whole $100 for my fear of death.
And when the other junkie pushed the knife between my ribs, I just stared and smiled. It was nothing to be afraid of.