posted by dave on Thursday, September 27, 2007 at 12:48 AM in category ramblings

Most of the time, I think being a mind reader would be a pain. Because I know that there are thoughts in my own head which aren't suitable for public consumption. Unspoken insults, deviant sexual fantasies, sarcasm run amok, more deviant sexual fantasies. And that's just in the time it took me to write that sentence. So it logically follows that the thoughts and feelings of others must be the same way. Private, and better left private.

I'm pretty sure that, were I a mind reader, I'd end up hating everyone on Earth before too much time had passed. Or maybe I'd eventually get used to it and be able to accept the things I was sensing as perfectly normal human thoughts and emotions. Maybe I'd stop being repulsed and disgusted. Maybe, like a blind man suddenly given sight, I'd be overwhelmed at first, but after a while I'd be able to deal with it. The question would be whether I'd lose all capacity for compassion before I got used to it. Not worth the risk, I don't think. At least, that's what I usually think. Most of the time.

There are other times, however, when I'd love to be a mind reader for a little while. Times like right now.

There is a head that I'm dying to peek into. But not to pry. Not to rummage through her mind just to see what cool things I can find. Nib-nosing, my grandmother used to call it when I'd snoop through her chifforobe. Nope, I'd have specific questions that I'd to find the answer to.

Am I needed, right now?

Am I wanted, right now?

These are important questions, always. But perhaps now more than ever. This person, this girl who occupies my thoughts these days, she's hurting. Her life is in a turmoil of sorts. And I want to help. I need to help. I truly do. It's just that I don't know how to help. By keeping my distance? By minding my own business? Those are the things that I've been doing, the things that I've almost always done before.

Things that have been done to me, during the troubled times of my own past, mostly because that's the way I wanted it.

But she, this girl, she is not like me. I have no reason to suspect that keeping my distance is the right thing to do. I also, unfortunately for me, have no reason to suspect that I should intervene, offer an ear or a shoulder or an arm or a hand or a heart. I could end up doing more harm than good. Irreparable harm, perhaps. Hence, my dilemma. My questions.

People hurt. I get that. It hurts to be alive, way more often than it should. And, sometimes, that pain must be suffered privately. But not all the time. Not every time.

Is this time, is this time one of the former, or the latter? And, if the latter, am I a person, the person, who can help to ease her pain?

Yeah, I think that, right now, being able to read minds would be pretty cool.

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