I married a woman who graduated magna cum laude from the school of infuriating messes, then went back to get her master’s degree. She believes objects should be placed in the one spot both of us will be least likely to look when we need it again. I have to go on a scavenger hunt for the brush if I want to use it. There’s a constant tug of war between our mismatched instincts which results in our home falling somewhere between “We survived a trailer park tornado but lost everything” and “If you move the salt shaker an inch to the left, I will have a panic attack.” This can make entertaining guests an anxiety-fueled nightmare when their grubby little hands hover around my stuff with no regard for my mise en place. How do they expect me to remain so efficient? The bastards are lucky I don’t take my dick out 20 feet too soon to show them a thing or two about saving time.
Pretending To Be Active
Being alone for long stretches doesn’t lead to an active lifestyle. It’s mostly a lot of sitting and staring at things — TVs, phones, books. You can work out and attempt to be physically active, but when you come back, you immediately pick up where you left off. The passivity starts to weigh on you after a while, and since you can’t work out ten hours a day, it leads to making nothing feel like something. I’ll give you an example.
After realizing I had functioning legs, I decided one day to stand while doing activities that are normally associated with sitting. I’d just stand there watching TV or reading for an hour, like my ass was on the fritz and sitting would only cause permanent ass damage. The more I did it, the more my body got used to it … and before I knew it, I was binge-watching entire seasons of shows while standing. Standing then turned into pacing, and now I can’t really do much of anything in my house when I’m not pacing.
It’s a way to trick my brain into thinking I’m doing something that isn’t lulling me into a state of complacency. I’m no longer sitting around watching four hours of Arrested Development. I’m walking while watching four hours of Arrested Development. In the previous scenario, I am a lazy, shiftless asshole with nothing going on in my life. In the second, I’m walking. See? Huge difference. I might be the only person on Earth who has ever pulled a hamstring while watching Jessica Jones.
After a while, I started to notice this technique cropping up when I was around other people. We’d all be huddled around a TV watching something together, and I’d start off the night sitting in a chair like everybody else. I’d eventually find reason to stand, only to come back and continue watching while standing, sometimes pacing softly in my friend’s periphery. This is a solid way to freak people out. I think hovering around just out of view but close enough that they can feel you looming over them gives them anxiety that you’re about to tell them something bad. Or they think you’re about to cut across the screen but you’re afraid to interrupt. The anxiousness of thinking that you’re about to interject never pays off and they realize this is Hell. I’m a demon, and me not sitting down is their eternal torment.
It’s a blast.
Other than a few feet behind you as you read this, you can find Luis on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook.
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