Do you ever have conversations in your head?
As a kid I used to make up scenes and play them out all of the time. Sometimes they’d be centered around school, with me as the guy not being teased, or some other empowering bit. Sometimes they’d be fantastical, sci-fi or some such. Maybe they’d play off of a movie—so that it would end in the way I wanted it.
The routines could get quite lengthy. I’d keep myself up at night, working through a climactic bit. I wasn’t always necessarily the hero of the story, but I was there. It was fun to invent stories. I’d get carried away an exaggerate a lot as a kid.
Later, when I was working in a Maryland public library at 15, I’d spend whole days not talking. To keep my mind occupied, I began to author whole worlds in my head. The idea was to develop them into full-fledged stories later on.
The unhealthy part of the whole practice is inventing everyday conversations that don’t happen. I could see myself doing this more and more back when I was in Texas and didn’t have many people to talk to. It was sort of scary, actually. I worked and worked, retreating home for an hour or two before sleep, just to begin again. The drive home would be quiet. The apartment would be quiet. Meals would be quiet. Weekends would be quiet. I’d stay quiet all the time. Work was work, full of stress and things to keep the commander happy with. I’d just sit. A couple of years went by.
But in my mind whole episodes would unfold—not any sort of self-aggrandizing fantasies, but just normalcy. Just friendly bits, jokes, some back-and-forth banter.
I still do it. At work, during lessons or whatnot, I still invent parallel conversations. I haven’t found a use for them, so they just spin off into the rest of the day not remembered.
So I’ve gotten quite good at prepared conversations. I have a few saved up. Unfortunately the timid, scared white kid still holds back during moments of execution. I don’t know why that is. I have wonderful five-seconds-after perception of what to say, which causes a bit of lag in action—seen as, well, inaction. Eventually I’ll get out of the NCO business and just be a normal guy. I don’t think it will matter as much then.
Random? Yeah, a bit. Just another aspect of a dude, I suppose.