I went to see Howl, the movie about the early career of Allen Ginsberg, last night and I was totally mesmerized. James Franco was terrific, and the animation was beautiful, but what I found the most moving were the moments when Ginsberg described the ‘fear trap’ that he felt when he was writing. I got chills when he described his terror of ending up in a crappy furnished room somewhere, alone, unsuccessful, with no one to love him.
My nightmare worst-case scenario is very similar, except that I end up kind of like the Goldie Hawn character in Death Becomes Her. My horror story ending has me, my tracksuit stretched tight over my gigantic ass, surrounded by feral cats, Googling old pictures of myself with one hand while fisting an open tub of Ben and Jerrys with the other.
In the end, of course, Ginsberg realized that the fear trap was largely an illusion, and he broke free. I’m tired of worrying about getting older, being too fat, getting too thin (because it makes you look older!), too smart (because men can be intimidated!), not smart enough, not talented enough, and too neurotic (why can’t I stop obsessing??) My brain is unique. I’m unique. And I would rather regret something I did and failed at than something I didn’t do. So, just for today, I’m going to take a deep breath and write what comes to mind without worrying about the end result.
Ginsberg was right. Fuck the fear trap.