Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Curse, Part 9: The Mind Spins with Theories

Previous installment
First installment
All installments in reverse chronological order

At this point I don't know what to make of Gary, the alternative version of my Demonic Fisherman. I'm not sure how this changes things. It's something to mull over. But I will point out that I noted, back in Installment #2, that
There are lots of greyed-out, fuzzy-focused, seldom-noticed people out there who very studiously mind their own business. Not just introverts, but people who intentionally shrink down to nothing with an almost palpable degree of self-awareness. Not depressed, defeated, nor malevolent, yet deliberately evading attention. I can't help but wonder whether such a "curse" might be less unusual than we imagine.

So. What we've lacked so far are explanations. Listen, I'm a curious and analytical fellow, and, obviously, I've given this whole Curse thing plenty of thought, so I've probably already thought of any theories you might propose. I've conjured up too many explanations - and tried too many countermeasures - to recount them all.

But, above all, I understood that the answer would never be some pat, easy thing. I wouldn't smack my forehead, crying "Of course!" This was all way too bizarre for easy explanation. No, the answer would be subtle, multithreaded, and a challenge to fully understand.

It was very lucky that the Curse applied even when I didn't speak. It meant I could overlook the complexities of personality and communication, a potential quagmire. No, this was something more internal. Some unconscious cocktail of, like, pheromones, energies, and the mirrored funhouse of human expectations.

My very first theory was that I was simply hallucinating all of it. Two problems: 1. that would be paranoia, but paranoiacs blame a nefarious conspiracy revolving around them, while I imagine no such thing (I don't think anything revolves around me!), and 2. other people verified enough incidents to leave me assured that something strange truly was going on.

The Curse was real, it was non-verbal, and it was me - though, I'd finally decided, to my considerable relief, a misreading of me.

Since there can be no thunderously revealing uptake for all this, the tale is a bit of a shaggy dog story, with no fully satisfying ending. My theories are interesting, and I'll share them in the following installments. But there's nothing to "spoil", so let's zoom ahead to the outcome: At some point I reverted back to my usual love-him/hate-him status. Which can actually be worse. A story:
There was a farm stand I shopped at a few years ago. The elderly proprietor was never kind to me, but one day, late in the season, we exchanged a couple of thoughtful words, and connected for a moment. She looked at me as if for the first time. It was absolutely nothing romantic for either of us, just a touch of soulful bonding. Nice!

The next season, I didn't have a chance to return to the stand. But the summer after that, I did stop by. When the woman caught sight of me, she gasped, and I realized that I'd stumbled into a late scene of a very bad movie. "Where did you go?" she implored in a hoarse, tremulous whisper, her eyes dark wells of pain.
I, ah, ghaaahh, uh, I, ah....wuh, er, I, ah....*

* - Pronunciation

I wish I could say that was a one-off. And you'll surely understand why I much prefer senseless rejection. The Curse was a trial but also an amusingly goofy story. This, however, was some sort of bona fide tragedy...and, for whatever unfathomable reason, it seemed to be on me! Yikes! I don't want that!! Who would want that???

Continue to part 10

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