When I was 5 I was walking back inside from recess when I realized that the grandpa from the rugrats was going to die soon, and then immediately after realized that death is inevitable and is coming for all of us. To be fair, this was around the time that I also “realized” that the government was using top secret caged Pokémon to control the weather, so not all of my theories were spot on. But that was the first time I’d ever thought about death in a serious way (and only the third time I’d convinced myself that Pokémon were real) so I was shaken pretty hard.
One thing I will give my fear of death is that it totally turned my fear of the supernatural into appreciation. Because in my mind it was silly to be scared of dying if I was just gonna become a spooky ghost after and get to haunt people for a living. Which sounds kind of like a sweet gig, and would also give me a reason to put my ability to sneak up on people back on my resume. The only bad thing would be the possibility of an exorcism, which would totally suck. Especially because they always seem to bring a priest along while doing those and I’m a healer main so it’ll just end up being this awkward power struggle the whole time. It’d honestly just be better for everyone if you brought someone more focused on DPS, like a dentist or a gym teacher.
In high school my fear of death, much like my gayness, came out in full force. And one of the boys I was friends with at the time tried to calm me down by suggesting that maybe what happens when we die is exactly what happened on LOST. But that just made things even worse, because I’m super not prepared to survive on a deserted island. If we didn’t find the hatch within the first 7 days of me being dead I would’ve put my own torch out at tribal council and walked out on Jeff Probst before the episode was even over. And then Matthew Fox would come up to me all, “WE HAVE TO GO BACK RYAN” and I’d make out with him for a little bit before I’d inevitably remember that he and I are too different to ever make it work, and I’d have to leave him. Plus once the government gets Kyogre to throw a storm at us we’d be done anyway, because we spent all of our time on the island starting and stopping relationships and none of our time actually planning an escape. Not very responsible, Matthew Fox. I expected more from you.
I finally broke out of my intense fear of death when I grew up and moved to the city. Which is ironic because you’d think I would be way more terrified of serial killers while living with roommates, but almost none of them have actively tried to kill me yet. Which is admittedly super cool of them considering some of the craigslist ads I saw at the same time as theirs were advertising an initiation into a secret brotherhood. Which sounds cool and all but I just know there’s a hidden membership fee at some point and I’m not about it. Unless your secret brotherhood is about recapturing the Pokémon unwillingly being used for government labor, I’m not interested in paying. And if it is then fine, but let me build up some pinap berries first because I’m honestly SOOOOO close to a magikarp evolution.
Ryan C. Robert is the writer of multiple comedy blogs, most of which are satirical and self-deprecating. He writes about his life in his personal essay series "Before Color," parodies cooking blogs in "Trish's Dishes" and posts writing prompts every single day.