The calming effect of routine in the face of constant danger.

I got more paranoid than usual on the train today. Maybe it’s because I always ride the bus. I think it has something to do with the fact that I wasn’t on my usual bus. I felt in the open and vulnerable to gun-fire like I was in no man’s land in the great war.

Anyway I basically ran into a corner of the train car, in a seat that gave me a vantage point from which to surveille the other passengers and their potentially devious ways. I probably looked insane myself. But I was looking for signs of slipping, a wild look in people’s eyes, something that might give away that they’re about to snap; whip out a gun and shoot everyone in their immediate surroundings in the face. I imagined horrible torrents of frontal lobe and cerebellum flying about the car, spraying the windows and other passengers.

Maybe this is my gruesome, over-caffeinated side talking. But I’ve read reports of various acts of totally meaningless violence: they go down just like that. They’re spontaneous, everyone is completely overwhelmed by shock to do anything, even scream.

But, like everything else in my psyche, I sensor adapt. Facing my paranoia enough times seems to diminish the terror over time, even though the risk stays the same or even greater because, as the laws of probability have it, the more times you subject yourself to the same risk, the greater chance you have of that thing happening to you.

But my psyche carries on, sort of lulling me into this false sense of security like I had when I rode the bus every day.


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