We are at war. Little do we know it though. Constantly ambushed, but in small enough attacks that we don’t realize, and won’t realize it until it’s too late … before they’ve taken over. Chemical warfare is out, but what of psychological?
I was attacked yesterday. I hadn’t missed it, in all accounts it has brought me to this post, to warn all of you, to get the word out that you’re not alone in thinking what I’m thinking.
You ask, “What are you thinking?”
War! Weren’t you just listening!?! A better question would be: “What attacked you?” Is that what you’re asking!?!
A can opener … yes, a can opener, that’s what attacked me. So sly how it came across as wanting to help me, and began that way, but then twisted and warped my mind to someplace else. Suddenly there’s bleeding on the counter. Is it me or the baked bean content of the can I’m trying to open? Traumatic … we need to be vigilant. It was a manual one … the greater deceiver, because it made it appear as if it put me in control … but it never does … it never does.
I squeezed the handle closed and I heard the puncture click, but realize now it was only baiting me in. I cranked the knob and its wheeled blade proceeded to cut and then suddenly the can lurched to its side as the can’s innards oozed out and dripped on the counter. I straightened the can up again and, recognizing myself alone against it and too far in to go back, turned the crank once more. It appeared to go well, not smooth, but well enough until I was nearly half around. Then the can opener so inconspicuously lifted itself up against my leaning weight, as if I were but a few ounces, and refused to cut the lid at that juncture. It glided just enough over and beyond it to leave the lid securely fastened, and then feigned a smile, as if I wouldn’t have noticed, and then continued to cut again. The can, persuaded by the opener, lifted its bottom as before and leaked again down the side of the label. The small brown puddles on the counter were laughing at me. I looked away, but some of it had run over my finger. I forced the can back up and snapped my wrist repeatedly while grasping the knob, released some pressure with a few swear words, and kept my eye on the ball, the punctured section of the lid where it had all begun. Even though I’d missed that one portion, I knew I could just bend the lid up on that hinge to empty the contents, as long as I got back to the start.
But then, even more deceiving than before, the blade missed the can. I don’t know how it did it. I could have sworn I’d gotten it, but there behind me was more uncut lid. “No!” I backtracked over it like a roller in a tray of paint, trying to sop it all up, back and forth, back and forth … and then I heard … “Click.”
Huh … I’d won. I’d defeated the little deceiver and its accomplice. Yes. Huh? Oh yes, now I was thinking that that can was in on it too, a double agent. Feeling full of myself and ready to empty that can, I proceeded forward, or rather, around, and was mere millimeters from the goal when the can opener, no longer trying to hide its ill intentions, hit a speed bump and popped over the last bit of connection of can and lid, which had been all that was left between me and the start and was now no longer between me and the start, but behind me and still intact. I’d gone full circle and had the finish line pulled out from under me before I could cross it. I’d not gotten all the hurdles and had been disqualified.
“No!” My cry echoed through the kitchen and the neighbor’s dog barked. This was war! The kitchen drawer pulled open and the knife came out.
I almost can’t remember doing that, and then I plunged it in and bent it back. The can’s lid bent a little and twisted some, dipping into the baked beans inside, and I thankfully remembered I’d rinsed the lid under the faucet prior. But then, when I realized I had done that … it all came crashing in.
How had I known to do this? This wasn’t the first time. I had been a victim to this before. This was not one solitary happening, but a combined effort on their part, only at different intervals. My ability to see this as a mangled victory, though mangled, but still a victory, at once failed. I knew it. Their claws were already in my brain … and they had trained me. Oh love of mercy … I feared what their ulterior motive might be. If they had crept so easily in, and who was to know in how many ways, what else might they implant in me?
“Wh-what’s that? Oh … the CD in the stereo is skipping.” As I tried to comprehend the magnitude of what had awakened me, I walked into the living room and took out the CD, bent it slightly and blew on it … and then placed it back into the stereo.
Yes … I wondered … “How much are they controlling me?”
Real: Don’t you think it’s all real?
Not Real: Less than I would like.