When did it become weird to stop and think to oneself? I mean, many times in the course of a day, I will be walking down the road and suddenly realize that I have to make a crucial decision. For example, where do I want to go for lunch? I can go either to A or to B, but they are in opposite directions. A dilemma arises....
I feel like an idiot when I have to stop and think. I can feel the stares of the judging public piercing my sides. "Susie! Look at that guy over there. What the hell is he doing? He just stopped, rather abruptly, in the middle of his walk down the road and is now just staring at the ground! Is he going to puke? Is he planning mischief? A heart attack? No, he must be insane, drunk, or homeless."
It is not possible today for somebody to stop dead in their tracks, put on their best thinking-pose, and just.... think.
Standing in the middle of the pavement, staring into space and lightly stroking my facial hair a la Confucius fingering his beard or the evil top-hatted villain of yore with a fair maiden tied to the train tracks twisting his handlebar mustache (I prefer to tug rather gently on the small bit of hair underneath most men's [and some elderly Italian women's] lower lip: known in the trendy world as "the soul patch." Nothing says, "that man is a genuine Hemingway-reading intellectual!" like twiddling a fine piece of well-groomed facial hair), makes me look like a complete psycho to the majority of people. I might as well be drooling (although, very often, people are not caught in the act of drooling. Residual drool is much more common).
Again, I ask, why do you look crazy if you stop and think? Whenever this unfortunate event arises, I find that I actually try to cover up the fact that I am thinking to myself. A preferred cover is for me to whip out my cellphone and blankly stare at the empty screen. "Oh, that guy is just checking the time" or "Oh, that fine, upstanding young gentleman is simply checking a missed call."
That's what they think. But in reality, I am thinking "Am I in the mood for sushi or Thai?" The decision I make dictates the direction that I must walk: therefore, I must stop where I am, lest I continue drifting in the completely wrong direction. There is no way around it! I must stop... think... and scatter the frightened children around me.
Oh, another favorite is the "I'm obviously waiting for somebody" pose. Fumbling hands, investigatory and exploratory glances, impatient clock checking. Works every time.
Then again, maybe there are loads of people out there thinking to themselves. Waiting at bus stops and such. They are fooling me!
Or maybe that's wrong. Maybe people don't have to think anymore. Wherever they walk, they shall continue in that direction until they come upon something that catches their fancy.
Send help immediately,