Alan Parson’s Syndrome

I think a lot of things about people, specifically strangers. Some good, the majority not-so-swell. If you are standing next to me on a train, walking a few feet in front or beside me, and i don’t know you – there’s a good chance my brain is working overtime judging you, building a story about you, taking what little information your appearance, your personal effects, stance and saunter might reveal.

I suspect a lot of what I think is very far from the bull’s-eye my ego would like it to be. I’ve probably not ‘pegged’ anyone, and that’s fine – I’m not writing to boast about my abilities, I’m writing to reveal the part of this daily ritual that concerns me which is: occasionally it occurs to me that the person who’s persona my brain is so un-lovingly assembling in what it believes to be the for-my-ears-only space between my ears, might – just might – be able to read my mind. And so quite often, up there in that crooked gray matter, it goes a little something like this:

“Wow, this person has really got some issues – bodies-in-basement type issues – and could really stand to drop a few pounds. She/He would definitely be the second to last person I’d save if this train careened off the bridge right now – very last if it weren’t for that holier-than-thou dipshit over there. Wait a minute! She/He just looked at me like they knew exactly what I’m thinking.”

Then my brain attempts to undo the damage it has most assuredly inflicted. It takes a long pause, trying to empty itself of all the vile, insulting, and unflattering thoughts it made in the previous two to three minutes. This is followed by some in-brain-only whistling of Tina Turner’s What’s Love Got to do With it. At which point I can only hope that my new mind-reading victim is a fan.

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