Thursday, July 12, 2007


I have the idea now that people don't like to roll with me. I've noted this feeling before. It bothers me, because I take it personally. It isn't personal, it just feels that way. The way you might feel responsible for an accident that you were only there to see. Bad things need a reason, and we imagine that we have power beyond our capabilities. Unfortunate combination.

I'm coming to the conclusion, so much that I'll have to act on it, that if I want to roll I'll have to change not my style -- that would mean changing my body -- but rather my reluctance simply to ask people to roll. It's always been a problem, asking. I learned not to ask for anything when I was a child. It's too personal to go into. The point is that what was once a sensible adaptive behavior is now maladaptive. If something isn't working, do something else.

Well, I asked someone to roll today, and he did. And later I looked in the general direction of a bunch of sitting bulls, and wondered if anyone would roll with me, and someone said he would. Yes, there was probably some reluctance in these acceptances. But I respect these fellows just a bit more, for it. Is it earned? Is it some big deal? I don't really care. It felt like a favor, and the proper response to a favor is thanks.

I've been feeling better physically for the past few days. I was really run down. Injuries and aches and depression. So I came in today more focused. Ran around the block to warm up, rather than slow squats -- my knees are a problem. The running helped. I'll do it from now on. Point is, I notice how much easier life seems when the mind is sharp and the body isn't hurting. Yes, too obvious to mention, but repetition is the cornerstone of learning.

I suppose my point is that I feel affection, and tenderness, for people who act thoughtfully. Of course. It seems like there is a powerful insight about how to behave, somewhere in this fact. It seems then that thoughtfulness would be a good tactic to increase one's own happiness. I have noticed this in others. Several people make it a habit to inquire as to how one's day has gone, or the weekend. Some guys make a point of greeting every person individually. These seem like good social tactics. I'm too private and reserved to get all gabby and touchy-feely in such circumstances, but I do notice it, and it doesn't make an unfavorable impression. I should to it, in fact.

One fella asked me how fast I read. It was a complete non sequitur, but I'm so fascinated with myself that I immediately launched into a disquisition about how I was in second grade twice. Another time he asked me how fast my nails grew. Is it about how fast things are, that interests him? Maybe I should ask. That would be so unlike me. Well, that is the point, isn't it. Take an interest in people. Or rather, let my interest show. Participate rather than merely observe.

I've said it before, though. You don't remember it, but I remember everything. I said that I had learned, as a child, never to let anyone know that I liked them. Never let anyone know your true emotion. They called me Mr. Spock when I was in fourth grade. I must have had a reason. Maladaptive, now. One must be appropriate, but one has to be human too, or pretend to be.

But how can you say it? You're my friend. It feels like it would be a terrible mistake. You can't let anyone know what you really think. If you do, they'll get you if they can. You can't let anyone know how you really are. They'll hate you. Maladaptive. They won't hate you. They won't get you. Hardly ever. You, I mean. They did get me. But that was then.

Anyway, that's what I've been thinking about. Trust.

I wonder what the kids use to replace the metaphor of a stuck record.


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