I got some hair highlights today. I seem to be going blonde again. I was overtired, under-hydrated and drinking crappy coffee when my hairdresser and I started having a conversation about things that terrify us.
I mention the tired-ness and caffeine buzz because combine those elements with the thought of a global disaster and my untimely death and I’ll have a panic attack – even with the knowledge that in ten minutes the foil on my head will produce beautiful golden highlights.
So, we talk about our usual favorite topics – ghosts, exorcisms, evil spirits, her friend that sees dead people sitting at the end of her bed, my various family members who have experienced the supernatural. That’s a warm-up. Those things don’t scare me. I mean, they terrify me. If I start thinking that there’s a dead person I can’t see staring at me and Neil’s not home, I’ll run and hide under the covers. But I won’t panic.
A panic attack is more out of control and feels like you’re dying – not that I know what dying feels like. But I imagine it involves some light-headedness and difficulty breathing.
Anyway – so we move on to is there life after death? She’s an atheist who wishes she wasn’t and she’s more concerned with being sad and bored post-death. We both decided that since she can’t define what God isn’t and I can’t define what God is, we agreed that we’re all just energy and when we die – because our brains have stopped that is the end of our emotions and awareness. From there, it’s just one big happy ball of fun that shoots around in a blissful energy stream and our consciousness cannot tell that we’re dead or missing out or getting bored in that dreadful never-ending afterlife, whatever that is.
Then we talk about nuclear war – never my favorite topic, unless I’m safely tucked in bed and it’s part of a bedtime story with a happy ending.
Then she drops some conspiracy Planet X theory mixed with a dash of The Mayan Calendar ends in 2012 spice.
I’m sure you’ve heard your own campfire version of this story. There is an unidentified planet in the solar system that’s getting closer to Earth, it’s moving fast and it’s coming! It used to exist sort of behind Pluto and now that Pluto is not a planet and not holding it’s own – here comes Planet X. It’s coming for us so fast that by 2012, it’s going to be so close to Earth that it’s going to stop our gravitational pull for a few days. And of course, this is what the Mayans were trying to convey!
What happens then? We theorized. “I think it means you lose gravity and fly up in the air.” That’s been my biggest fear my entire life, just losing control and flying away. Probably too much church growing up where people always seemed to be going to an afterlife situation full body. It’s like going to sleep in your jeans. It just seems uncomfortable at best.
Then we thought, “Maybe the pull is so strong you just get stuck to the floor and can’t move and the oceans drown us.”
Either way, all of these not-so-choice-options started to get me dizzy and realizing my lack of control and I had to wipe my sweaty palms on the hair-salon full-body bib. She got nervous too. I said, “I’m having a panic attack.” Then we laughed.
Then we went on to talk about voter fraud.
I went home and googled Planet X and it’s been disproven so many ways. The only people who have strong opinions on it also have websites with black backgrounds and their text is white and flourescent green, never a color combination that says, “expert.”
I can’t believe how easily I’ll panic just by tossing around stupid theories about global destruction. I used to be so much more easy going as of late. I know next time I get my hair done, I’ll be better prepared so I can handle what I might learn about my fate without shortness of breath.