Thursday, August 28, 2008

Interlobal communication

The part of my brain that reflects intellectually on the state of my affairs seems to have its own emotional reality. For example, today I was sat down and forced to watch a power point training presentation about software upgrades at work (boooring!) and every time the word INTERPRETER came up, as in, YOU, THE INTERPRETER, WILL NOTICE... my heart skipped a beat and I started scanning the room. WHO? WHAT? WHERE ARE THE EXITS? Because while interpreting is something I do, and do well (I am an interpreting goddess), it has never registered in the mental database that formally recognizes proper noun statements-of-fact.


(and you will notice my tomatoes are coming right along)

If I say to myself I AM A WOMAN, natch! There is generally no change in blood pressure unless of course I am feeling righteous and then I might fist-pump and get up in your grill. But if I say to myself I AM AN INTERPRETER my throat would constrict just a bit, and my palms would get clammy and all those bio-chemical changes kick in that mean I would most definitely not pass a lie-detector test.

But! Being that I am voice-activated, start talking and watch me go. No problem-o!

And I don't mean it in a universal I'll-be-exposed-as-a-fraud kind of fear. Actually I do. But I also mean it like, it was so profoundly difficult to become an interpreter, so scarring and with such a dismal prospect for success that I can't seem to get beyond having convinced myself that the odds were vanishingly small so there must be a mistake. Of course, the chance wasn't so remote and while it was miserable, misery and recall tend to create positive feedback loop so that, in hindsight the whole enterprise was a nausea-inducing brush with death.

Memory is famously unreliable. In fact, I am pretty sure there is evidence to suggest that the experiences we think we recall with the most clarity, the formative moments of our lives, are the least reliable because we re-synthesize the proteins every time we remember and every time we remember we have an agenda, and a mood and a bias. Plucking those years out of the vault becomes more shudder-inducing with each de novo reminiscence. And of course, more infinitesimal and the more infinitesimal the more likely Occam's Razor cut will suggest that this was all a mistake.

Of course, this line of thinking leads me to the conclusion that dwelling on the past is a Sisyphean endeavor, like I have always said. The past sucks. Onward goddamnit.

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