I worry that I will contract the Ebola virus. I have raised this concern at my annual checkup every year since
hit the movie theaters in 1995. The conversation is always the same: "Let me ask you this, Miss Kogan; is your apartment brimming with disease-riddled monkeys?" I think for a moment. "No, no, it is not," I answer proudly. "Okay," my doctor asks, making a small note in my file, "did somebody rent
I worry that I have lost my God-given right to go a full month without hearing about
Jon and Kate Gosselin. I worry that I'm running out of space in my brain and soon this
stuff will start crowding out everything I ever learned about Hamlet. "To be or…"
You see? I can only remember the cast of
Dancing with the Stars.
Having been raised in Detroit, I worry that I will lose my job. I also worry that I will lose
my health insurance, my TV remote, my teeth, my parents, my home, and my mind. I worry
that the only thing I can do is pray my mind goes first so I don't notice that I'm a homeless,
unemployed orphan with no ability to pay for prescription drugs, change channels, or chew.
I worry that acid-washed jeans are making a comeback. And far be it from me to dispense fashion
advice, but here's a mantra worth committing to memory: Bon Jovi has moved on, and I can, too.
I worry that last fall, 30 members of the United States Senate voted no to a measure that would
prevent our government from funding military contractors (think Halliburton) who prohibit rape
victims from seeking justice against the coworkers who attack them. I literally lie awake at night
trying to understand how the people who are supposed to protect us can justify voting no on
something so clearly nonnegotiable. And I worry that those guys are sleeping just fine.
I worry that my boyfriend and I are growing a bit too comfortable with each other. We used to eat dinner by candlelight. He'd read Rilke for me and I'd draw a bath for him. But 16 years is a lot of togetherness. The other night I didn't think twice about asking if he could see Audrey from where he was standing. Warning: If you are faint of heart or weak of stomach, or anyone I've ever dated, read no further because…Audrey is the name I've given my lone, black chin hair —that's right, I've named my chin hair —and, believe me, I'm plenty worried about that, too.
I worry about every single aspect of my child's life, including but not limited to everything from whether she's getting enough sleep, milk, and attention to whether she's getting too much TV, juice, and pollution. I worry that she will get the H1N1 flu. I worry that all her friends will get it and she'll feel left out. I worry my boyfriend will die before me and I will have to rely on our sleepy, milk-deprived daughter to pluck little Audrey.
I worry that according to a piece in the October 2008 issue of this magazine, worrying about not getting enough sleep is actually keeping me from getting enough sleep. And I guess, more than anything, I worry that I'll never figure out what it takes to finally get some rest.
But who knows? I keep hoping that not really having the answer to that question is somehow making me and my sleepless friends into better people, forcing us to reach out for a touch of warmth in the existential darkness, and in so doing, drawing all of us closer together. Maybe not. Still, that's the idea I plan to cling to, as soon as I check the lock one last time and decide to call it a night.
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