Fears of Zero

Written by Jerry Juhl, performed by Zero Mostel

Late.
Late at night.
When the world sleeps.
And I am here alone.
And here I come some nights to confront my fears.
They’re here…my fears.
They are always with me.
Lurking, scurrying, hiding, and waiting.
They come!
And they go.
Though they are gone they are never far
and here alone at night I can confront them.
There they are…confronted fears!
Fears of hunger, fears of pain, fears of missing the last train.
Fears of dentists always drilling, fears that no one will be willing…
to see me as I know I really am.
Once they are counted and compelled…they can quickly be dispelled…
Like figments of my own imagination.

But always, there are other fears.
Fears of snakes, fears of cats,
fears of maītre d’s and rats.
An irrational black terror…
that someday I may get fat.
Fear of elevators falling, and the taxman someday calling
And the accidental walling of myself up inside a clammy, dank, old, dingy cellar where the spiders weave around my tummy
And the worms, and bugs and crawly things squirm and squiggle at my person. (Oh, I love it!)
Once they are counted and compelled, they can quickly be dispelled…

But then there are other fears.
Fears of bullets, there’s a dread.
Fear of baldness on the head.
Fear of waking up one morning, to discover that you are dead.
Once they are counted and compelled, they can quickly be dispelled…
Like figments of my own imagination.

Then there is the last fear.
Just about the time I’m past fear.
The one that really is final.
It will come.
Yours…and mine’ll.
In the darkest of the night
it will come without a fight.
It will count me and compel me.
It will casually dispel me.
For I am just a figment of its own imagination.

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