My mother is undoubtedly behind many of my most rational and irrational fears. She knows this, and so I’m not worried about calling her out on it publicly. She might remember the date perfectly or at the very least what age I was when she told me, “I want you to be careful today, and stay away from cement trucks. I had a very bad dream about you involving one last night.”
I’m placing her delivery of this particular request to me at somewhere between age twelve and age fifteen. Nonetheless, for the last twenty-three to twenty-six years, anytime I stumble upon a cement truck, the mixing variety, I make every reasonable effort to keep it a good distance from me: cross the street, take another block, slow the car down, protest their use entirely with other frightened rubes warned by their own premonitions outside of city hall. As I said, any reasonable effort.
Cement trucks are not a daily nor even weekly observance in New York City, so as dire warnings go – hers or others – you wouldn’t find it high on my list of things for which I keep an eye out. And to be honest, there have been times when I’ve tempted the fates, and walked within ten feet of one just to prove my mother wrong. Other times, I’ll seat myself across from these mechanical beasts and just study them, cataloging all of the obvious and hidden ways a cement truck my be able to take me out using what I’ve garnered from the Final Destination series of films to develop the goriest possible scenarios.
Of course now that I’ve copped to this paranoid gem, I can’t help but wonder if that one evil person with no TV, out to get me, will incorporate a cement mixing truck into his or her plans for my destruction. Maybe serving up my paranoid thoughts in blog form isn’t a good idea at all. Only me could talk me out of writing more about me on the grounds that it might be disadvantageous to me by outlining for me-haters how to get the edge on me.