Have you ever watched a movie and seen someone spontaneously scream out of fear? It's always seemed so fake to me. I always thought, "oh brother, no one really does that unless they're acting."
Turns out, I'm a screamer. WHO KNEW?
Twice in my life, out of instant and complete fear, I've involuntarily screamed.
I suppose this means I would be a good actor, with my screaming ability so perfected.
(I would be a terrible actor.)
I was walking down a sidewalk in an upscale neighborhood in Cuenca, Ecuador. The wealthy in Ecuador always had large walls surrounding their homes, with entry gates, and occasionally with armed guards posted. They also seemed to have a love for exotic dogs.
Heading to an appointment, I was walking quickly with a friend and we were talking a mile a minute, as per usual. We could see that the house ahead of us had two large white fluffy dogs sleeping in the driveway, outside of the gates. We approached the house, still absorbed in our conversation and not paying any attention to the dogs. Dogs that looked similar to this:
Right as we passed the sleeping dogs, they jumped up and started barking their heads off at us.
I jumped and screamed one loud bloodcurdling cry of fear.
Then I laughed and laughed because this was the first time I had ever involuntarily screamed in my life and I didn't know I was a screamer.
About ten years after the Ecuador-scream-that-was-heard-around-the-world, I lived in a small house on a large piece of property. We had a pasture and two cows, named (by my children) Harry Potter and Hermione. All summer long, Harry and Hermione would eat anything green that grew in the pasture, but by October, the pasture was all dried up and we fed them oats twice a day.
One cold and frosty morning I went out to the pasture feed the cows. My father-in-law was visiting and he went out to watch. I opened the lid to the oat barrel and reached inside to get the scoop. Right when I looked down, a mouse, inside the barrel, jumped up (with his fangs bared and his claws reaching for my throat) and I screamed.
Whoops, wrong mouse.
Yeah, yeah, this guy's mean cousin.
Ok, fine, it was just a little mouse and it only jumped up, scaring me. This time my father-in-law laughed and laughed. I did not laugh, as I was recovering from my heart attack.
And so now I know. I am a screamer. As humiliating as it is, I am a screamer.
I wonder what my next encounter with primal fear will be?
How about you? Are you a screamer?