Here is a short piece dedicated to the end of the world. A sister piece in the series that includes “How to Talk to Aliens about Death” and “How to Wave a Flag”.
FEAR OF THE FUTURE
Interviewer What exactly is your phobia, Carlton?
Carlton Well the medical name is futurophobia.
Interviewer And what does that mean exactly?
Carlton It means I’m afraid of the future.
Interviewer The future?
Interviewer How long have you had this phobia?
Carlton Since I was a child.
Interviewer And how did it start?
Carlton When I was five or six years old, I remember going to a friend’s house and I saw the future on the stairs. And the future was looking at me, well staring at me. I went to touch it, and it bit me. And since then I’ve always been afraid of the future.
Interviewer What happens if you see the future?
Carlton Well, I start to feel very nervous, my hearts beats quickly. And I have to go away very quickly from where the future is. For example, if I see the future in the street, I always cross to the other side.
Interviewer What do you do?
Carlton I’m a doctor
Interviewer Is your phobia a problem for you in your work?
Carlton Well, sometimes. On the rare occasion that I go to someone’s house on a housecall and they have a future, I have to ask the people to put it in another room. I can’t be in the same room as the future.
Interviewer Have you ever had any treatment for your phobia?
Carlton Yes, I’ve just started going to a therapist. I’ve had three sessions.
Interviewer How’s it going?
Carlton Well, now I can look at a photo of the future without feeling nervous or afraid. And I can touch a toy future. The next step will be to be in a room with the real future.
Interviewer Do you think you will ever lose your phobia of the futures?
Carlton I hope so. I’m optimistic. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll be able to live in the future.