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Kremlinology of Myself

Un­der­stand­ing what goes on in­side my head is not easy for me. I am sep­a­rat­ed from the thing I am ex­am­in­ing by sub­jec­tiv­i­ty, and suf­fer a com­pre­hen­sive ob­serv­er ef­fect that clob­bers sim­ple re­port­ing and dis­ables my com­pre­hen­sion.

So, it's rare that I have a mo­ment where I feel one way or an­oth­er in a clear man­ner. To me "How are you?" is con­fus­ing. I tend to hes­i­tate for ten sec­onds while scram­bling for the stan­dard re­spon­se, like the ter­mi­na­tor scrolling through re­sponse trees. Usu­al­ly my state is, I feel ex­act­ly like my­self. I feel the way I feel, and I just have not put that in word­s, scales, and com­par­ison­s, much less one word.

Half the time it's eas­i­er for me to know how oth­ers feel. I look at my wife and I know. I look at my son and I can prob­a­bly tell you if he got a good lunch at school to­day, and whether he won his last rock pa­per scis­sors match.

I can do that be­cause I can see them. I can see their faces, and I know how they look, how they change, how they re­ac­t, I know Juan does this thing with his lip when he's frus­trat­ed, I know Rosario puts her sweater back­wards if she's dis­tract­ed.

I have to get my self­-s­ta­tus in­di­rect­ly. I woke up ear­ly and rest­ed. I look for­ward to work­ing, or to do­ing some­thing in the week­end. I at­tack a task with in­ten­si­ty, I avoid an en­coun­ter, I for­get to start mu­sic, I aban­don pro­ject­s, I reach out to peo­ple, I can't come up with ideas, I make up ex­cus­es, I make a quick joke.

I have to won­der where that comes from, then. Who is the me do­ing those things I ex­am­ine to de­cide how I feel? I feel like my head is a town and I sit in a cafe, in a street table, and lis­ten to the passer­s-by, gaug­ing the mood.

Some­times, just some­times, I wish I was sim­pler, and straight­fr­ward. I wish I could do things with­out think­ing so much. I wish I could re­act nor­mal­ly with­out in­ter­me­di­at­ing my­self in my own thought­s.

Of course maybe ev­ery­one does the same things. Maybe ev­ery­one is the same. Even if not the same, strange in the same way, just like things can be all dif­fer­ent and part of a class, dif­fer­ent in de­grees and the same in essence.

I am fine, thanks. And you?


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