Bert replies to “War with what is”:
Too long. Too many quotations.
Yeah. I tried to shorten it. Ran out of time.
And I’m afraid you may have pissed people off.
Are you kidding? You called them crazy.
Look at your freakin’ last line.
“Because everyone you know is just as crazy as you.” Oh. Well, I didn’t mean that literally. Figure of speech.
Really. Do you tell your clients they’re crazy? Even when they are?
Not directly, no.
Be diplomatic, moron. You’re a social worker.
I’ll try to remember.
(Pause). You don’t think I’m paranoid, do you?
I’m not paranoid. I’m careful.
That’s what they all say.
All my controlling is absolutely necessary.
They all say that, too.
How is it not necessary?
Most of what you’re scared of isn’t real.
Like just now. You were worrying I pissed people off.
People you don’t even know. You act like you can read their minds.
I know some of them.
Not the point. The point is you have no evidence that they’re pissed off, outside your fevered imagination. You’re projecting all over the place.
It feels real.
Projections do. Doesn’t mean they are.
Friday night, at the wedding.
I was fine at the wedding.
You didn’t dance. Cait wanted you to, but you avoided it.
But I don’t dance.
I know. Why not?
I look silly.
The family says you look fine. They like it when you dance.
I’m still afraid I’ll look silly.
Why is that?
People will judge me.
How do you know? Has anyone ever said you look silly when you dance?
Has anyone ever watched you dance and laughed at you?
Mocked you? Threw food?
Then how can you be sure anyone has ever thought that?
I just know.
No, you don’t. You can’t, unless you ask them. You can’t even be sure they would notice you. But let’s take it a step further. What if you did ask, and they did say you looked silly. “Yes, Steve, I watched you dance, and yes, you looked like a jerk.” What then?
I don’t follow.
Why would it matter? Ninety percent of the people at that wedding were total strangers. You’ll never see them again in your whole life. If they notice you dancing, and if they think you look silly, who gives a crap?
(No answer. His brow is furrowed in pain. This means he’s thinking.)
So as I see it there are two problems here. One is, you scare yourself with your own projections, which are pure fantasy. Remember: “We see things not as they are, but as we are.”
Again with the quotations. Who said that?
Was she at the wedding?
No. The other problem is you think you need to control other people in order to feel good about yourself. Emerson had a good line about that.
I’ll bet he did.
“Why should the way I feel depend on the thoughts in someone else’s head?”
Good question. Why should it?
It shouldn’t. But it does. Because we’re monkeytrapped. All of us, control addicts. It’s just how we’re wired.
Yes, but: Remember that button people wore back in the sixties? “Even paranoids have real enemies.”
True enough. But it’s a problem when you can’t distinguish real enemies from imaginary ones.