Some people are terrified of their boss. I am lucky. My boss is smarter and cooler than me. I am not kissing ass here. He really is. He is kind of nerdy and still way cooler than me. He asked me if I had heard so and so's music that was playing in the background. I had, but had no idea who it was. He found this "disconcerting". This reaction would worry me if I worked in the music industry. However, since we are in the entertainment industry, I silently promised to get some of my cooler friends to educate me musically. Until then, I fake it. "Oh, yeah. This album is epic. I listen to it when I drive," I say, standing over his shoulder as he plays me a new Blu-Ray release of what's-their-names. I listen closely, trying to memorize a verse so I can Google it later. "These speakers..." He yells. "Lossless sound!" Right. Lossless sound. Whatever that is. His disapproval of my iTunes does not scare me.
No, I am not terrified of my boss. Instead, I am terrified of the material we work on. Petrified. I have already told him that I plan on expensing a Costco container of Tylenol PM. Come to think of it, I am going to expense the wine I wash it down with. See, when I got this job I realized quickly that I was about to be thrown into the world I had avoided for most of my childhood and all of my adulthood.
When I was, I don't know, twelve or so I would get invited to slumber birthday parties. That was the cool thing to do. We would gather in a big tent, sit in a gab circle laden with wildly inappropriate pre-teen subject manner (like which of us had pubic hair), followed by Truth or Dare (usually having to prove our answer to the previous question) and finishing the night with a horror movie. After seeing Candyman, I spent a week sleeping in my parent's bedroom. I still can't talk about how Fire in the Sky affected me. I started calling in sick to slumber parties. Eventually, after my mom ran into some other moms, word got out why I wouldn't attend the parties. I guess my reason was less embarrassing than avoiding Truth or Dare. Pretty soon, there was a new house rule: no horror movies for Sarah. The rule still stands.
I tend to take things personally. Movies included. I am the movie goer who audibly gasps when the heroine dies. Jaime, my partner in crime for hundreds of movies, calls me an "11". She says, "as far as being emotionally affected by movies, on a scale of 1 to 10, you're an 11." I believe she said this after I insisted I could handle Ammityville Horror. I didn't care how scary it was; to see Ryan Reynolds chopping wood with his shirt off, I was willing to risk it. I ended the night with a Xanax and an extremely unrealistic dream about Mr. Reynolds and myself.
Besides sticking to romantic comedies, I also have to check my imagination at the door when I am sleeping somewhere new. Living in a haunted house when I was in college didn't help. I pick up the vibe of a house, or campground, the moment I arrive. Phoebe and Arwen like to have me come over upon moving into a new house. If I can take my usual afternoon cat nap on the couch, the house is clear of spirits. Camping is a little trickier. I am not going to pretend I haven't spent too many hours positive that the noise I am hearing is a blood thirsty monster lurking in the ponderosas directly behind my tent.
But the sun rises on the tent and the early morning dew sparkles. The smells of percolating coffee on the Coleman stove linger with crisp air, the promise of summer heat once the sun makes its climb. Everything is as it should be again. Everything has an answer.
Until now. Now, I get to read in-depth investigations about aliens and ghosts. The unknown. I am a control freak who also happens to be a Taurus. Not good characteristics when attempting to dive into the creepy paranormal. I like rational explanations for everything. From why my grocery checker chose that hair color to what exactly causes a wormhole. I would like it to be black and white. The answers, not her hair color.
Maybe it would be better to be terrified of my boss. Maybe if I was being belittled and intimidated, I would forget that I am scared to death reading about what happens when you give an alien an autopsy.
Since I will probably never have all the answers, I guess I will just keep the Tylenol PM close by.