First things first, this is not a poem.
If you’re here for a short read, you won’t find one.
This is me “thinking out loud” as it were.
I don’t recommend you read this.
You’ve been warned.
I realized recently – and by recently, I mean today – that I tend to process emotions by way of loss. I don’t mean this in a purely cynical way, I mean that my own interpretation of emotional self-assessment functions in an after-the-fact way. It is, in all truth, an extreme magnification of “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.”
For example, if someone were to ask me, “How would you feel if I suddenly disappeared and you never heard from me again?”
My brain does this:
I can see how that wouldn’t be preferable, but your disappearance holds no innate control of my personal well-being, and, as such, I wouldn’t cease to exist. The days will continue to proceed as normal, the basic societal process will not be hindered. It would not be something that I would naturally choose if given the option, but, logically speaking, departure is a natural element of interaction, and it is often times more a question of when rather than if. As such, it is an end result that one should expect, and, therefore, should not logically burden me in the event that it occurs.
My mouth says this:
“I’d probably be like, ‘Well that kind of sucks,’ but I’d probably be okay.”
But the problem is that my logical mind doesn’t understand what it’s talking about. When such a thing occurs, I equate it to someone leaving a door slightly ajar.
Using the metaphor, this is what my brain actually does:
Why is the door like that? Was it accidental? Was it intentional? Should I close it? I’m not the one that left it like that, so I shouldn’t close it. If I close it, would that imply that I don’t want it to be opened? Should I wait and see if it opens? Should I wait to see if it closes? Should I knock and see if maybe someone is on the other side? If someone’s on the other side, maybe they don’t want to be bothered, so maybe I shouldn’t knock. If I close it, maybe it’ll lock, and it’ll imply that I’m trying to keep people out.
While this is happening, my emotional brain seems to chime in and throw my previous, logical assessment of things into chaos. I no longer see that “how would you fee” question in the cold, detached, academic way that I thought I would. All the rational dissection of what I would do becomes little more than my brain’s personal assessment of “what would you grab if you woke up and your house was on fire?”
I can walk through that hypothetical situation all I want, but it means nothing when I wake up and my house is on fire. All that logic falls apart.
In the logical phase, I can’t quantify my feelings of things. I rely on an academic assessment of “how things should logically work given the evidence at hand.” But when the emotional phase shows up (i.e., the door is ajar, and the house is on fire), it then assesses things backwards and suddenly starts to imprint very specific feelings on things. Of course, at this point, that emotional specificity is terribly out of place. Suddenly, I’m hyper-reactive and my emotions are like napalm because they’re trying to articulate what I didn’t even know I was feeling earlier.
This, of course, comes off as “bat-shit crazy.” To others, it would likely seem that I went from being a robot to an emotionally-unstable psychopath in about 6.5 nanoseconds.
As I said, however, I often times don’t understand my own emotional perception of things until they’re gone. But at that point, my logical mind is stuck in a logical conundrum of what that door that’s slightly ajar means, and my emotional brain has suddenly woken up to a house that’s on fire with no logical insight to guide its actions.
Of course, this all eventually gets taken care of.
Because eventually the house burns down.
And the door with it.
And so my logical mind goes:
Well…I guess it doesn’t matter now. In the grand scheme of things, fire is always a logical possibility and the eventual destruction of any structure can be seen to be an inevitable conclusion on a given timeline. That being the case, the inherent value of said structure…
You get the idea…