"you're on my rob list"
tiktok comments that keep me up at night, and ten things i would replace instantly if my whole closet was robbed
As a kid I had a recurring fever dream that flooded me with terror. It would begin with a vast pink-purple oceanic dreamscape with moist fog permeating the air, like the Disneyland Small World ride. Tall spindly needles would emerge from the sea. In the grand finale, a parade of massive elephants would come marching in from the sky, their bodies straining in pain as they walked across the needles. There was never any gore or blood in the dream, only the delirious anticipatory dread that their bodies were about to get skewered by a thousand needles.
I have nights of insomnia where I’m lying down mummy style, begging my body to fall asleep. Therapists tell you to imagine your thoughts floating by like a cloud. My thoughts are a Formula 1 race. I’m terrified of the dark and silence. The sun is the only thing that makes me feel safe and it feels hopelessly far away. 8 more hours. 7 more hours. 6 more hours. I try to concentrate on bland thoughts: what I need to get at the grocery store tomorrow….guava goddess kombucha, broccolini, chives, strawberries…
Inevitably the intrusive thoughts slither in. They range from milquetoast worries to dark humor to apocalyptic doom. I worry that my worrying will be cut off abruptly by a nuclear explosion or asteroid hitting the earth and I’ll cease to exist.
I’m worried about the rats in the yard. The neighbor has been doing construction and it opened a portal to hell because now giant rats are darting through the bushes and flickering their bubonic plague ponytails in the weeds. I’ve set traps but every day they are empty, the bait mysteriously gone. I would have thought the trap would have at least snatched off a thumb?
I think about the Rat King from The Last of Us. Some scenes were too scary for me to watch. I have an intense startle response and jump scares trigger my fear beyond tolerance threshold. Apocalyptic fear sinks in, climate anxiety. I mentally review my natural disaster plan: how I’d escape with my toy poodle in a backpack through a window, how many cans of Annie’s refried bean cans I have in my car, how much cash I would need to survive until society was restored. I make a mental note to check my bean cans tomorrow. What would I look like if society was wiped out? No one has a french bob in the apocalypse.
What if I were struck with the material misfortune of losing all my clothes? Or burglarized because one of those TikTok comments “one eye when you’re sleeping” or “you’re on my rob list” turns out to be dead serious? They are just material things. But I would be quite sad. A lot of my clothes are sentimental memorabilia. A lot of my clothes make me feel safe. If I had to start over, what would I replace without second thought? Would I prioritize clothes that offer physical or emotional comfort? I would need my: