Casual Paranoias

I find myself in awe of the people around me, be it the ones I know or casual people that are walking by. I try to see the good side of things, creating muscle memory when I see sweet moments happening. When a red lip-sticked butch lady on a Chopper slowly slides down as I make my way home, I give her a sweet smile, this she doesn’t notice. But when I cycle back home from the office, not looking my best with the helmet tightly strapped around my neck, pushing my already meaty cheeks to their fullest, I spot a white-haired grand lady with accentuated cheekbones and a simple but fashionable dress, on the bike just like me. I can’t help myself but smile and this time she smiles back at me, even waving her hand the way Princess Diana used to, adding into the ‘class’ I uphold to her conduct before gliding through the downhill.

Doubting horoscopes seems like the right way to go. Frequently I find myself reading the weekly or the monthly reviews that give me guidance on the ways to behave or to be. I judge their legitimacy by comparing them to others, even referring to the people I have in my life, based on the latest feedback they have provided on their life and their plans. Sometimes I find a different sign’s of fortune more adequate, I choose that narrative to be mine. Scientific methods fail the moment I start reading the first word so by this point nothing really stands on its feet.

Recipes with rigid measures stress me out. This can be due to several repeated failures after following them by heart and facing a rather disappointing result. There is something intriguing about discovery, like when you know you are not following the recipe, it might as well bring you about a dish that was not expected but is still satisfying. Pastry can be one exception in this field, but I fear baking cakes or sweets knowing I would eat them before offering them to anyone.

Another notable one is re-reading what I wrote, a truly counter-productive act that I justify with my french education (thus the pastry part in the prior paragraph lets down not only me but many people). I find solace in the stream of consciousness, not in a puritan way, on the contrary, in an escapist dream of encountering what might be left out from the late afternoon overthinking sessions. Deep within I know why I don’t re-read my work. Deep within I dread that I would find the hoax, the phony that swaps words from others to feel good about herself, copying conversations heard from the next table and telling it as if it was her own story. By all means, I am aware this is a silly worry which in some creative-writing workshops are given as a piece of advice, and that it is somewhat acceptable to stay within that blurry line where you credit someone where the respect is due and you don’t actually credit them to grant them the anonymity. Nonetheless, the thought is in there, along with many that I hope to let out slowly since the dead-weight of the few months is breaking my shoulders. There seem to be no one to take over the weight, so I might as well just bash it on the ground and let it ferment through the sunny days to come.

Researcher in affective computing, consciousness and the mind. Also happens to cycle, a lot.

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Esen Küçüktütüncü

Researcher in affective computing, consciousness and the mind. Also happens to cycle, a lot.