The fright of nature

Laurie Sontag

I don’t want to worry anyone, but apparently I suffer from Nature Deficit Disorder. I diagnosed it myself from the Internet, so it must be true. I even watched a video with a guy who sought treatment for the disorder. He looked like Doogie Howser and had M.D. after his name—just like Doogie.
Look, the truth is, the great outdoors is awesome when I view it from my window. But actually being out there? Um, no. There are bugs. And critters. And possibly zombies. I do not like bugs and critters and possible zombies.
Walking outdoors is not a good plan. For one thing, it’s very difficult to concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other when you have to keep your eyes and ears open in case a critter and/or zombie should cross your path. Also? There is a constant fear that a bug will fly near me and possibly go up my nose.
A few weeks ago, I was walking with a friend when I heard a rustling sound. I did what any normal, nature-fearing person would do. I shoved my friend toward the sound. In my defense, she is in much better shape than I am, so I needed a head start in case it
was a zombie.
And last weekend, Harry made me walk the Gilroy levee. That’s a beautiful walk. It would be more gorgeous if I were in a golf cart, but it’s beautiful. So we were ambling along, when Harry suddenly veers off the pavement and down a dirt path.
Holy cow. I had to step on dead leaves. And the trees made noise. Harry said they were birds, but really? Everyone knows that zombies sleep in trees, waiting to attack. Or not. I was panicked, so who knows? I was much better on the pavement, despite the constant threat from 3-year-olds on tricycles who weren’t clear on the whole “right of way” concept yet.
But I think I might be done with nature. It’s getting to the end of February, a time when most people give up on their New Year’s Resolutions to get into shape. So hopefully, the gym will be less crowded soon and I won’t have to walk outdoors. Unless there are gym zombies. Then I’m in trouble.

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