Fear of Fear (Fassbinder, 1975)

“It’s all a concrete wasteland.” You think to yourself, while smoothing the taste of chocolate over with a healthy gulp of cognac.

You tantalize your boredom with fantasies of strange acts of desperation, acts you’ve only seen in the sullen faces of strangers, acts you wouldn’t dare test yourself, but you’ll tease your skin just enough to draw blood, biting your tongue in pain.

“I’m so tired. I’m tired of smiling when I’m not in the mood, and of a husband I never feel.” You whisper through the curtain lace.

You let your eyes linger on your bony hand, and you wonder where it’s been to pick up this plague of spirit. What a sad dance of the numb, the twists on carpeted floors of housewives and smiles with the thud of falling limbs. When were you infected, you smiling child of bent photos?

“I wish I was like those strangers below, normal.”

And what a daring escape it will some day be, into normalcy. You’ll be thrown into the waters without a shriek or sound, and emerge a tranquil grace with a sturdy smile. Though the spotty remnants of days sprawled over the living room furniture are now distant, they will never leave you alone.

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