Every one of us carries a set of protocols around inside us, a “in case of emergency, break glass” behavior.
Many of them are very specific.
If you’re like me, you have always known you have them, but you may not ever take the time to examine them. Here are a couple examples from pop culture.
“If my manager insults me again, I will be assaulting him, after I fuck the manager up, then I’m gonna shorten the register up” -Kanye
“…and I kept the staples for the Swingline stapler and its not okay because if they take my stapler then I’ll, I’ll, I’ll set the building on fire” -Milton from Office Space
These are funny and kinda violent, but most of our little predictions aren’t. They are our attempt to play chess with the universe. We see trouble, and we try to have our counterpunch ready for it.
At the end of the day, its a behavior built on trying to avoid pain.
A behavior built on anticipating a loss and how we will react.
In me, many of my little future fantasies are about people. They are about the lengths I would go to for them. To make things right, to take care of them, and less common, how I would protect myself ethically from people who would try to wrong me.
This is what I call dramatic shit.
Its a whole one act play that we travel with, packed up in a suitcase. A little on demand flea circus.
These stories are so alluring. They star us, our favorite actor, and the people we love and hate, our favorite costar.
They are not wrong, but they are only a mirror. They are not the future.
There are people who I am willing to take care of til the bitter end. If they fall apart, I will do whatever it takes, sacrifice whatever it takes, to make them ok.
And there are people who I am waiting for a chance to give to, but can’t find the right way. I owe them, but I don’t know where to send the check so to speak.
The thing I’ve come to realize is that these narratives are helpful because they show us one thing, our limits.
How far we are willing to go, and what we are capable of, if only in our heads.
Most of our behavior is in a very comfortable driving speed of 55 miles per hour. But our cars can screech to a halt, they can circle a house, and they can also tear down the road.
My hope for myself and for you reader is that you learn from your stories, and that your real life is not echoed out by your shadow life.