Write about your strongest memory of heart-pounding, belly-twisting nervousness: what caused the adrenaline? Was it justified? How did you respond?
~Daily Prompt, Nov. 26th, 2012 (from The Daily Post)
I really hate prompts and questions like these. But that dislike of them, in and of itself, is something to talk about I suppose. I don’t like the ‘worst/best memory’ questions, or even the ones about my favorite food, song, color, sport, and so on. The answer I give when confronted with them is always bullshit in that there’s usually not any single experience or thing that’s my favorite, nor any single memory I would designate as my “strongest”.
I have a lot of strong memories, and a lot them them come bubbling to the surface when I’m hit with a query about which stands out the most. There’s so many to choose from that, in terms of writing, it doesn’t seem worth trying to respond to, the possble answers are to many, to overwhelming. And my answer might be totally different a day later, especially if I’m still mulling it over and revisiting memories in my head.
Having said that though… fuck it, I’ll just pick one of the ones that came to mind for today.
In my early teens, coming off of being knocked out for the first time a few months before this, I met this guy just outside the high school we were both going to. I was on my way back from my lunch/smoke break, and this guy was apparently looking for a fight. Not wanting a repeat of what happened last time someone took a swing at me, I was trying to get out of the situation without a concussion. As it turned out, there’s nothing like getting right back on the horse after a fall to get over ones newfound fear for riding it, but at the time I was nervous as hell, my kness felt like rubber, and I was already getting shakes from the adrenaline a few seconds into our not-so-friendly conversation. What caused the adrenaline? Probably fear. While I now look at it as “sometimes shit happens”, back then I’d felt emberassed about getting knocked out. It wasn’t something I wanted to repeat.
Justified…? Beats me. It’s what I felt, and in retrospect it served me pretty well. I guess at the time I didn’t feel like it was ‘okay’ to get so nervous, that I was being a bitch about it, but a) it was an effective, helpful aid and b) I was in a situation where being “gut-wrenchingly” nervous couldn’t hold me back whether I’d wanted to let it or not. I was going to get into a fight no matter how I played it. So who cares if it was justified. I came out of it alright, learned from it, and got a little confidence back, so it worked out fine.
(Written November 27th, 2012)