There are plenty of awesome things about living alone. Pantslessness, eating straight condiments for dinner without fear of being judged and using my entire apartment as one giant laundry basket are among them. Not interacting directly with humans falls pretty high on that list too.
But because I’ve only either cohabited with a partner or roommates for the past decade, I honestly had no idea what I was in for when I recently moved into my own apartment by myself. Besides being one of the most emotionally draining experiences ever, I found myself in a constant state of paranoia that something was horribly wrong AT ALL TIMES.
In no particular order, I present to you a complete compendium of what keeps me up at night.
I will choke while shoveling food into my face and die.
This one dawned on me recently when it occurred to me that I sometimes don’t bother chewing certain foods when I’m really hungry. The food in question was part of a cucumber, which easily could have lodged itself in the back of my throat had I made a sudden move. To be perfectly honest, I’ve always envisioned that my demise would involve a sandwich, so this fear ties in quite nicely with the rest of my emotionally deranged state of being.
Same scenario as above, but my cats eventually eat me.
Listen, I don’t care how close you are with your animals. If you keel over today and and the kibbles dry up, Mr. Fluffinator will eat your face. It’s just survival, man. And I know I shouldn’t take it personally, but it’s something I find myself thinking about sometimes. Like, how many days total would it take for my cats to cast hungry stares at my dead body? Would they feel any remorse? Could they, even? Would a Lord of the Flies scenario ensue?
My apartment has burned down while I’m at work.
This might very well be my biggest fear on this list. For no discernible reason, every day before I turn onto my street I wonder for a moment if my apartment building will still be there - or if a charred skeleton is all that remains. Worse, I think about what would happen if the fire started in my place and spread. How could I live with myself if I somehow accidentally destroyed other peoples’ homes just because I forgot to blow out that shitty apple spice candle from Walmart that I’ve been saving for a special occasion?
Having no recollection of of turning off my flatiron/blowing out that candle.
Maybe this is an I’m Getting Old Thing, but there are often little parts of my day that I have no recollection of. Locking doors and turning off lights fall into this category. But what freaks me out is that, without fail, I can never, ever remember for sure if I blew out that candle or turned off my flatiron. Ever! It usually bothers me for a few hours, then after a while I’ll come to accept the fact that I’ve burned down my home, ruined lives and will just have to start over on a horse ranch in Montana.
There is a burglar/rapist/brony hiding in my closet/tub/behind the door.
I remember a period of my life, around age 10 or so, that I had to pull back the shower curtain in every bathroom I entered to ensure there was no dead body hiding in there. I’m assuming I saw a movie depicting this, otherwise I can’t explain this disturbing fear.
Not that I’ve gotten any better - if a closet door is slightly ajar, I MUST check to see if there’s a dude with a ski mask poised with a crowbar, ready to strike. Sometimes I’ll wonder, after being home for a few hours, if I somehow missed my murderer and he’s just waiting patiently for me to take off my makeup and put on my Hello Kitty PJ pants because he knows when I feel most vulnerable.
I’m no doomsday prepper, but I often think about how I’d react in an apocalyptic situation. If I were at home in my apartment and the undead came knocking, the only people nearby I could call on for help would be the weird chainsmoking lady downstairs and her teenage son.
And if shit got real, I’d potentially be spending the last hours of my life with them. I guess the good news is that I’m not on the ground floor, and zombies kind of suck at climbing, right?
I die, and no one finds me for days.
I made multiple copies of my key for friends in a 10 mile vicinity for this very reason. Congratulations, bitches, you now have the honor of hanging out with the coroner after my cats stage a coup that involves replacing all my avocados with bombs or something. Just kidding, that would be awful. But just in case, you know?
So tell me, do you have any majorly irrational fears about living alone? Please tell me I’m not the only one dreaming up disaster scenarios all day long.