Thursday, June 05, 2008

A fear of finches

I met a woman who has a fear of finches. I thought it odd since I was engaged in the study of an emerald green humming bird when she interrupted me. I thought to myself "but this is a humming bird". My inner voice told me to keep that fact to myself.

I'll talk to anyone. Even a women who fears little harmless birds. I can also be dense at times, But no so dense that I miss the signals from somebody who needs to talk. I figured the finch lady needed to talk. So I bit - "How can you be afraid of such beautiful little birds?"

"It's because of my dreams. A thousand finches chase me. When they catch me, they dive for my eyes. I don't want to go blind."

I could sympathize. My dreams are haunted by trains. Always trains. Trains don't dive for my eyes of course. They just run me down when I least expect it... over and over again.

She went on. " When I see finches I can't breath. They scare me so much I have trouble even focusing on simple tasks. I can't even walk." She gave me a look that made me feel like I should understand. That her irrational fear off finches should in some way resonate with my secret and rational fear of trains.

I made my first mistake.

"Um... I don't think finches can tear your eyes out. They are harmless." I looked down at her with my best know-it-all smile. She seemed pissed.

"You don't know jack buddy. Finches are evil."

I looked at the humming bird for a moment before I spoke. I made my second mistake with my next words. In retrospect, I should have just kept my mouth shut.

"I'm into birds. I even sometimes watch a group of house finches in the morning before I go to work. They nest right outside my bedroom window."

Her hands went to her hips. Her nostrils flared. She gave me that look that can only mean one thing. She thinks I'm a dumb ass.

"Are you crazy? They're fucking finches man!"

She walked away with a look of absolute disgust on her face. I turned back to watching the hummingbird. I was a little confused.

Another women walked by a few moments later. She had overheard the whole thing. With a bemused smile on her face she said quite clearly.

"It's a good thing you're married".

II scratch my scraggly red beard for a moment. "Yep" I said a aloud. I had to agree with her.


Patti said...

It's one thing for good, sympathetic people to try and understand those in our world who have "odd" (to us) fears. But it's quite another thing for those with the odd fears to feel anger toward the rest of us for not fearing the same thing.

I don't think you made any "mistakes" at all. I think the woman who feared finches was delusional to think that the rest of the world is crazy not to feel as she does about harmless little birds. Surely any sane person would understand that a fear like that is a phobia and would not feel antagonistic toward those of us who don't share it.

(PS: You have a fear of trains because of dreams. I have a similar fear of tornadoes based solely on lifelong recurring dreams - and possibly watching The Wizard of Oz too many times as a child. Then again...trains and tornadoes HAVE been known to kill people!)

Mojoey said...

thanks Patti. Tornadoes kill, so do trains. My particular phobia was caused by see a train wreck when I was young. I've relived the scene a million times - except now the train is coming for me.

Stew said...

It's a good thing your married?!

What the hell does that mean?

crazy lady

Mojoey said...

Stu - I am not sure myself. Was it that I was insensitive? Or perhaps did not recognize she was looking for something from me?

I'm just glad I don't have to care. Crazy fucking finches, I mean wtf?

DromedaryHump said...

This is weird.
I have a hiddeous fear of trains being driven by finches through a tornado. :|

Steve & Stepher said...

"You don't know jack buddy. Finches are evil."

THAT needs to be on a t-shirt ASAP.

Mojoey said...

tee-shirts - I like that Idea.

Laurie said...

I did fear a hummingbird once. I was headed to the laundry room of my apartment complex with a basket of laundry, and I came around the corner face-to-face with a Calliope Hummingbird. They have long bills when seen 10 inches from your eyeball. I was only afraid for my eyes, and the fear only lasted until she flew away, though.

I'd buy one of the tee-shirts!