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2017-11-30 / Voices

I have many fears in life. Ridiculous fears.

BY DANA LONE ELK
OGLALA LAKOTA

I have many fears in life. Ridiculous fears. Or phobias really, I always laugh at people with allergies because I think when we used to be able to eat anything, then I know how much food is messed with anymore. I get tired of the gluten free craze, but as I get older I feel the heaviness and the way it steals my energy. I have grown to the age of being tired of Indian tacos because not only is it a pain in the butt to make, totally unhealthy for you, I am tired of being the only earner in my little toupee here in Minnesota. I taught my niece and retired. There is no hope for my daughter, she thinks opening a can of corned beef hash and swirling it around a frying pan for like darn near a half hour is hard work. So, I am slowly and eliminating things from my diet that are bad for me, taking on the unci role of loving saltines with no salt etc. I swear, I was an uncus before I was an unci.

However old I get I cannot get over my many stupid and shallow fears, some are rooted from movies, like close to 100 percent of them. Most aren’t even about ghosts. Some are even idiotic things such as balloons.

I seriously hate balloons, and everyone says why why why, they think it is something you should outgrow but I see a balloon and I am out of the room in a heartbeat. And somehow, this sounds ridiculous, but balloons know this. I will be at a birthday party with about a hundred other Indians and a balloon chooses to fall from the ceiling and which Indian does it hit on the shoulder and cause me to jump to some quick karate kid like moves, me. Just me.

I don’t know where this deep-rooted fear comes from, but I remember at my 4th or 5th birthday party my great grandma Agnes and Great Grandpa Frank were blowing up balloons and sticking them to the walls. I was so excited for the day to get going, it must have been the year I turned 4 because it was a big deal and usually every 4 years my birthday is a big deal since I was born on Leap Year. I just remember it all, one thing I am blessed with is a good memory. Anyway, I remember my grandma teaching me to rub the balloon on my head and stick it to the wall using static electricity. I thought it was magical and she thought I was funny, probably because my hair was looking like Chaka on Land of The Lost. Anyway, I had been doing this and she gave me a huge balloon it was kind of long and huge. I rubbed it to my bushy head to stick it on the wall and right by my ear it popped. (This also explains the fear of guns and 4th of July) I remember screaming and crying and thus, set off my fear of balloons to this day. Globophobia, that’s the for real technical term. It also set up a life full of torture from little brothers, sisters, my children, clowns (another fear thanks to Stephen King.)

A few years back I took my daughter trick or treating with my niece Micah. My other niece Molly would not go near this house on the corner because of the clowns. These sick people had scary clowns in front of their house! I played it cool, the furthest I could away from the house, because they had a spook house inside and the girls wanted to go inside. I kind of thought I would never see them again, but I hung around the outside waiting at bay because of the three clowns. One was juggling, one on a trike, and one holding a big bunch of balloons. I was on my phone, trying to be distracted but leery of the clowns. I looked up to see if the girls were coming, when my worst fears happened. The most evil clown, holding the balloons turned only his head all slow and looked at me. I mean right at me. I don’t know if he saw my soul but I froze. My heart was all I heard. Like on the movie Jumanji. Then he turned his body and started walking towards my soul, I mean me. I assumed it was me, being when I looked around my brothers were across the street and no one was by me. So, I turned and walked as fast as I could without causing a ruckus or any suspicions. I mean I wanted to run and scream and blow snot everywhere, but I remained as calm, cool, and collected as I could as the blood drained from my face. I casually strolled towards my brother because the other one threw Molly over his shoulder and took her down the block to avoid the clown. My brother looked at me and laughed is that clown messing with you he said. I nodded and swallowed my fear, I think so was he behind me? I said.

My brother said, if you would have taken a selfie, he was peeking over your shoulder.

I knew it, he was going to eat me. Or pop the balloons right by me first just to torture me.

Some fear you don’t outgrow. I can’t even think of how to get therapy for this. So, I live and suffer through it. Pray for me.

I write this because we need to laugh more, even though I am throwing myself out there I am doing it for the people. Haha, sometimes I am tired of being angry, I am tired of the term lateral oppression. We have so many fights to fight because we are so marginalized as Natives across this country that to marginalize ourselves is getting ridiculous. How do we move forward when we pull each other back? We have taken the term crabs in a bucket and raised it a level, to hamster in a wheel. Always running and going nowhere.

Let’s laugh at ourselves once in a while, quit being naweez, we were here first sure, but let’s make sure we are here last. We are a wonderful culture who uses humor to get through the hard times, and the hard times we have now, are nothing compared to our ancestors.

Have a great week, see you next week.

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