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June 8th, 2019

Short Circuits

I thought this today: "Yay! I wasn't an ass!"

Especially on Thursday, but to an extent since then, I've felt on the verge of Doing More Stuff That's Wrong and Saying More Stuff That's Wrong. I was feeling awkward and worried that I'd deal with feeling awkward in ways that were inappropriate, or even simply "off."

A harmless, years-old example of this: in my college years in the mid-90s I'd stay with my folks at their Dundee, Oregon home between school terms, and eventually both of them got jobs that they carpooled to together, so when they'd leave they'd tell me "See you tonight." Surprisingly often I replied "Okay, good night!" See? Wrong, though harmless! But it felt like a short circuit in my head. I spent part of the past few days feeling on the verge of short circuits like that...and at risk of short-circuiting in a way that would bother people. Or, worse, hurt them.

As yesterday and today went on — Friday was bus riding, a bank errand, and library time, while today I drove to Beulahland to watch part of today's Women's World Cup play (Spain vs. South Africa and Norway vs. Nigeria) then hit up two comic book shops and Fred Meyer before heading home — I was careful. I related well enough to the people I saw, whether friends, acquaintances, or random people in stores. Today, overall, I probably was farther from being an ass than I was worried I was on the verge of being. But I was on alert for signs that I'd, shall we say, slip into ass-ness. (I'll be vague: I got on alert today partly because I saw a shit-storm happen elsewhere online, and I thought Uh oh: I could add to this if I'm not careful. So? Careful! Careful enough, I hope.) Was I communicating well enough? Would I be confusing and off-putting? Would I give people the wrong impressions? Would I be somehow unreasonable?

I probably gave few to no outward signs that all of this was going through my mind, by the way. So, hi, y'all are getting glimpses into my brain. (And in a much cheaper way than with an MRI.)

One of these days, I'll be an ass. Again. An ass again. I'll just hope I recover well from moments like that.