Where do phobias begin? In the murky swamp of our lizard hind brains? My lizard hind brain is cooking up a phobia about the stairs in the building where I'm working, on the 18th floor. I've never been fond of heights, but it's not so much an actual fear of heights or falling. More a fear of the landing and then the being dead. Though when faced with a sheer drop into a canyon or off a bridge, I do experience a dark and all but irresistible desire to simply step off the edge. What's with that? But I digress.
No problems going down the stairs to the next floor. My difficulty arises (hah!) whilst going up. The risers aren't solid, there's a gap underneath that lets daylight through (and isn't visible while descending), and a little voice in my head starts to whisper about the eighteen floor chasm peeking through that gap. I grip the handrail like grim death (though why I think that would help in the event of a sudden stair failure beats me) and my legs turn to lead. Looking straight ahead doesn't help, because there's a large expanse of floor to ceiling glass on the landing at the head of the stairwell that looks like open air to my terror addled hind brain. It interprets that as going from frying pan to fire, and it wants no part of any such shenanigans. To avoid the stairs, I began to take the lift the single floor I'm usually traveling but no, my lizard ancestor doesn't like that either.
I've started to eye the crack between the lift floor and the building floor with equal horror. Where will it end?