Non-fiction by Jessica Zisa
I’d like to place my fears into several jars, so I can see them for what they truly are. I’d like to keep those hidden formless shadows, in the darkest corner of my musky basement, secluded in specimen form. All lids should be securely fastened, for fears are infectious and highly contagious. I’d also like to keep my collection clearly labeled, according to their content and the order in which I store them. The first jar would hold my fear of being boring, dull, and hopelessly uninspired. The second jar: fear of losing my mascara. The third would hold my fear of being lost in my own chaos, trapped in my own head. The fifth jar: having no voice. The seventh jar would be my fear of unredeemable failure. The 10th: controlling my own demise. The 18th jar would hold my fear of having no friends, and the 21st: fear of making new ones. The 27th jar: fear of coffee spills. The 36th would be the fear of no one coming to my funeral. The 47th would store tornadoes. Earthquakes do not scare me. The 55th: turning into my mother. The 62nd jar would contain decisions. The 68th jar: being alone. But the last one, I dare not speak aloud, for risk of silent infiltration. That 77th jar, my fear you’ll take your love away.