I'm Scared

I’m scared. Not exactly frightened or afraid, certainly not terrified. Perhaps a tad fearful.

But fearful doesn’t capture the feeling exactly. I’m not alarmed or apprehensive, hesitant or nervous. I’m not jittery, panicked, or petrified. I’m not creeped, I have no goose flesh, goose bumps, or goose pimples, no butterflies in my stomach, and no ice in my veins. I feel no heebie-jeebies or skin crawling, and I am not sweating anything cold. My teeth are not chattering. My hair is not curled, nor is it standing on end.

Though I may feel unsettled, I feel no threats or terrors, no impending menace or mayhem. I have no phobias or hangups and feel no funk. I’m not spooked or spirited, haunted or horrified. There are no bugbears, bugaboos, or boogeymen, hobgoblins, demons, or devils. I’m having no nightmares, I’m not on pins and needles, and my spine feels no chills. My heart has not relocated to my mouth. If I had a tail, it would not be between my legs.

I’m not nervous or restless, anxious or aghast. Not awestruck or appalled, daunted or deterred. I’m not trembling or tremoring, shuddering, shaking, or shrinking, wincing, flinching, fidgety, cringing, or cowering. I’m neither yellow nor chicken. I feel no need to cloak or conceal. I’m not disguised, in hiding, undercover, incommunicado, or incognito. Yet I still feel out of place, out of sorts, with a feeling that is not quite scared.

I’m not entirely sure why I feel this way. I’m not discouraged or intimidated, browbeaten or bossed, bullied or bulldozed into anything I dread. I’m not imperiled or endangered, blackmailed or extorted. No one is shaking me down, rattling their beads, raising a stink, waving their fist, brandishing a big stick, staring daggers, or talking tough. No one is forcing me to feel fearful, thought fearful is not quite the right word.

I cannot say I harbor any discontent. I’m not displeased or dissatisfied, distressed or disconcerted, dejected, disgruntled, or dissenting. I’m not grouchy, glum, grumpy, or crabby, sad, sullen, sulky, stymied, or sore. I do not feel jangled, have no pains in my neck, have nothing under my skin or up my craw, my nose is still in joint, and no one has rubbed me the wrong way. Still, I feel unnerved.

That is not to say I’m in any way unhappy. I’m not cheerless, joyless, or spiritless. I’m not melancholy, downcast, or downhearted, in the dumps, in the doldrums, or down in the mouth. I’m not dumpish or mumpish, mopish, moping, moody, or blue. I’m not heartsick or soul-sick, cut up, careworn, or woebegone, my hopes are not dashed. I just feel a heaviness.

I obviously do not mean a literal weight like a barbell, dumbbell, ballast, load, or physical burden. I feel no yokes or chains, no sense of oppression, serfdom, service, servility, or servitude. It is more of a seriousness, solemnity, or urgency, an importance, a mental stress, a worry that makes me slightly scared, though scared is not exactly the right word. In fact, it is not even a worry, it is more of a concern.

Perhaps the word I’m looking for is concerned. Yes, I’m concerned. I’m very concerned. And you should be too.