I’m a paranoid motherfucker. Some of this is genetic, I’m assuming, because I come from paranoid. My dad was the creepy kind of “You’re all scheming against me” paranoid. My mom is the “Don’t blow up that balloon because this one time I heard this story that a balloon backfired into someone’s throat and they suffocated to death” paranoid.
I try not to get crazy with it, but I’m paranoid. And my imagination tends to run wild.
Case in point: I’m taking a run on this property and it’s pretty rad. I can run trails instead of streets, which is good for both my joints and my peace of mind, but let’s be clear: I’m a paranoid motherfucker. My schedule’s already far too consistent for safety, and the GPS tracking that I usually distrust as a matter of course is now the thing I’m trusting to locate my body in the event of rape and murder.
I was actually running down the trail rehearsing the email to my friend which would read, Hey, will you “friend” me on [app both of us use]? I just want to know that someone can locate my last known whereabouts in case I disappear.
Having sent things like that in the past, it occurred to me that I’d benefit from maybe thinking about it and revising. It’s come to my attention once or twice before that in fact my friends don’t think “in case I disappear” is a great thing to contemplate. Though this particular friend would probably not blink, having been with me the time I locked my keys in the car and very nearly hooked the door open from a crack in the window before the tension of my arm became too much and it shattered. I apparently didn’t notice I was bleeding all over the place, I was just so happy to have my keys. Then I went inside, apologized for making a mess in the parking lot, and asked if they had any paper towels I could wrap around my arm, because bleeding.
When you’re paranoid all the time–when some part of your brain is actively coming up with the worst possible outcome of every single thing you’re doing (note to parents: teaching your kid to think “what’s the worst that can happen?” is not necessarily the best idea)–this seems pretty normal.
Yes, I’m running down the trail imagining what I’ll do if I get attacked. Sure. But it’s a good run, and it’s a risk I’m willing to take because I judge it to be relatively low, and I’m small, but I have a lot of rage and no good outlet for it. I mean, I’d probably get killed, but I bet I’d do damage.
All of that to say–having a lifelong habit of paranoia is not so bad if you happen to be a writer. Right now I happen to be a writer crafting a five book romance series with a murder mystery subplot. And it’s kind of what I’m built for. I suck at writing mystery-mysteries, but this is a kind of meandering murdery thread that will be resolved, two books from where I am now, in an action sequence I’ve been looking forward to for months. (And will hopefully write in, oh, January, I suppose.)
I’m never at a loss for plots, anyway. As you may have noticed.
Really, though. I park in the same spot (OCD), abide by the same schedule (mostly the kid’s preschool schedule determines this, though I could switch up this or that and I don’t because OCD), and would be ripe pickings for a rape/murder. Or for someone to jack my computer out of my car while I’m running, which I also rehearse. (But like, what *is* the value of a 2009 MacBook that barely runs YouTube without crashing? Um. But that might be a protective factor; surely most people around here are running faster machines. I’d be even more paranoid if I had something fancy.)
So what say you, Irregulars and other visitors? Do you consider yourself paranoid? Are you only paranoid about certain things? Do you flow through life without much taking time to consider just how many ways you could die/get maimed/lose precious belongings? Is that just me?