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LJ Idol IX - 15. Chekhov's Gun (~650 words)

Chekhov's Gun is a literary concept introduced by the Russian writer Anton Chekhov. According to this concept, every little detail the author mentions in the text of his work should be accounted for. For example, if a gun hangs on the wall in the first act of a play, it should fire before the end of it.

I like daydreaming about my friends' funerals.

This may sound callous and wrong, but it is, in fact, quite the opposite and has to do with a smudge of extrasensory perception I believe I have.

My parents, while baptized, do not believe in God, the devil, or the supernatural. Despite this, they have let my brother and I form spiritual beliefs of our own after teaching us right and wrong and the scientific approach to knowledge which they likely supposed to be enough to take care of the rest. Only, it is not that simple.

I do not remember what my beliefs were, if any, when I was little. In middle school, I have lived through a period of mild interest in scary stories (even though The Black Striped [Monster] Russian kids like to spook each other with is not particularly terrifying) and calling and speaking to "ghosts" (the usual way was to tie a pair of scissors to a bit of string and determine the "yes" and "no" answers from the direction in which the construction swayed). Then I grew disinterested in this kid stuff, for every adult knows that the "ghost" that moves the pendant is, in fact, yourself: you may honestly try to hold your hand steady, but the will to receive an answer is enough for the hand to move very slightly which starts the pendant swaying. In college, I did not have time to think about these matters and simply qualified myself as agnostic, which I do to this day.

I do not know when the strangeness started, nor do I remember when I began paying attention to it. The thing is, my future projections do not work. Not simple plans of the type "I need to go there on that date and do so-and-so", but detailed projections of events that may be called daydreams.

Sometimes, the not working can be chalked off as social anxiety. For example, I have to write down a detailed list of questions before addressing an issue, be it with my colleagues or when calling a help desk; otherwise, my brain scatters, the conversation turns another direction, and I arrive nowhere.

Other times, it can not. When anxious about a new situation or endeavour, I try to imagine how it is going to happen, to see myself going about it. In the end, things never happen even remotely close to any of these projections. Certain situations may never come to pass at all. For example, the first time I sort of wanted to go to the stage door after a Broadway show and went over and over it in my mind, because doing so back home paints you as "rabid" fan, I could not even find that door. I walked all around the theatre, and did not see it.

The inverse is also true: whenever I can not imagine what a situation may look like, but "see" grey fog instead, it unfolds favourably, whatever that means.

The cherry on top that makes the whole slightly spooky is that the "daydreams" do not come on command, but rather, out of the blue during the period of stress caused by a certain situation.

The same sometimes happens with people I care about, the family of my heart. If someone is gravelly ill, and I suddenly imagine them dead, the funeral, the grieving, well, let us say, no one has died yet. Some did when I only saw the fog.

This is why I am jolly glad when I daydream about my friends' funerals.


( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 28th, 2014 04:14 pm (UTC)
This is the only tiny bit of the inner voice that I have. :)

I do not trust it in any other circumstances, because, for example, if there is a choice between two things, I ALWAYS choose the wrong one. (I can't even pretend to choose one and the choose the other instead, because it does not help. The final choice is still the WRONG one. It's so annoying.)
Jul. 28th, 2014 04:25 pm (UTC)
if there is a choice between two things, I ALWAYS choose the wrong one.

I'm with you there. I don't know where to put all the if only I had(n't) I've accumulated for the last couple of years.
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 28th, 2014 04:18 pm (UTC)
ConCrit is welcome.
Jul. 29th, 2014 01:14 pm (UTC)
I have a knack of being intuitive..and so i found this all pretty interesting ..esp the bit about 'grey' fog..:)
Concrit: I guess there is an extra 'wanted' in the fourth last paragraph the one which starts with .."Other times , it can not...."
An interesting read. :)
Jul. 29th, 2014 01:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you for spotting the double.

I am glad you can slightly relate to this. I did not trust those feelings for a long while, because I was brought up to write it all off as nonscientific mumbo jumbo, but when something happens again and again... Let's say these projections are at the very least a calming prop :).
Jul. 29th, 2014 06:33 pm (UTC)
Your opening line is so strong and interesting, and I like how you worked through your entry to the end to explain it.
Jul. 29th, 2014 07:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Jul. 30th, 2014 09:52 pm (UTC)
*hugs* At least it's a bit reassuring, in a way.
Jul. 31st, 2014 08:47 pm (UTC)
Yes, it is sometimes. Thank you!
Aug. 12th, 2014 11:30 pm (UTC)
You're welcome.
Jul. 31st, 2014 12:50 am (UTC)
This seems like it might be a useful tool... perhaps I might try the funeral daydream the next time someone I care about is in the hospital. Interesting! The image of the rabid fan was amusing.
Jul. 31st, 2014 09:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you :)
Jul. 31st, 2014 04:23 am (UTC)
Love the opening hook, and you had me all the way to the end. The detailed imagery of this piece is really captivating.
Jul. 31st, 2014 08:59 pm (UTC)
I am glad that the line lived up to its potential :-). Thank you.
Jul. 31st, 2014 11:17 am (UTC)
That's fascinating and pretty useful too! Maybe people will start asking you to daydream about their funerals! :)
Jul. 31st, 2014 08:24 pm (UTC)
It's only useful to me, I am afraid, because it does not work on command. Besides, imagine saying to someone seriously ill "don't worry, I just dreamed we've buried you, so you're going to be all right" *snort*
Jul. 31st, 2014 07:23 pm (UTC)
I so understand the desire to 'walk through' how new situations might unfold, and also why they might not go according to plan.

The question is, though... does having done that help the anxiety with the reality that turns out to be completely different? I would think it still might help a little bit.
Jul. 31st, 2014 07:42 pm (UTC)
Yes it does. But it has nothing to do with an "extra" sense :). Thinking through what might happen in the future helps eliminate possible pitfalls. Well, not eliminate, exactly, but avoid confusion and panic.

For example, it's one thing to loose your documents and flounder about what to do next (this only happened to me at home, thankfully), and another to know of the procedure to have copies issued. (You have to go to the police station closest to the place where it happened at once, have a protocol written and some official-looking notices given to you that proclaim your documents missing that you then submit to the authorities that have issued the documents to get copies.)
Jul. 31st, 2014 09:30 pm (UTC)
lj idol recommended reading week 15
User belenen referenced to your post from lj idol recommended reading week 15 saying: [...] ** http://kehlen-crow.livejournal.com/936321.html [...]
Jul. 31st, 2014 09:41 pm (UTC)
Wow, that's really quite fascinating! :)
Aug. 1st, 2014 02:36 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I am glad I succeeded getting some of it across. These feelings are mostly visual, and somewhat obscure, so writing about them was not very easy.
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )

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