Scorn from beyond the grave

Only a scant few days of classes left, and I am a jangling bag of nerves because everything seems to be going so smoothly. This can only mean that there is some massive crucial project that I have utterly forgotten since it was first assigned in January. Right? Right.

E., my first partner and dear friend, used to say, “Elsa, if you were a super hero, you’d be Worst Case Scenario Girl!” (For the full effect, you should stand straight and proud with your shoulders thrown back and arms akimbo, and call it out in your most stentorian voice: “Making mountains out of molehills! Leaping to the most disastrous and farfetched of conclusions! It’s Worst Case Scenario Girl!” Really put the exclamation point in there. Good work.) He would tease and deride me right out of my twitching fits of fatalistic nerve-burn, threatening to get me tights and a cape and a crest emblazoned WCS.

E. doesn’t say this anymore, not because I have learned to tame the nightmare blood weasels that populate my brain manage daily stress, but because he died a few years ago. But his derision lives on. When I catch myself going right off the rails, imagining that a possible mishap is only the first step towards the Worst Case Scenario, I picture myself in full regalia, flying off into the sunset to inform someone of just how bad this could be, and I start to laugh. He left me a legacy of laughter and mockery, and I imagine that suits him fine, wherever he is, as the flames lick at his heels.

I have been using the image of WCS Girl for years to defuse my panicky bouts, and it is only this week that I noticed something rather obvious: Dude, you got sick and died. Worst Case Scenario Girl was right! In your face, dead loved one!

I miss you, honey. Thanks for getting me through finals. Again.