18 September 2005

My super power is that I can scare girls

Went to brunch on Whyte Avenue today and was walking around with Amanda and some friends. To make a long story short, I bought the wrong Mudvayne album which ticks me off, cuz I wanted any of them except for the one in particular I bought, and had a nice walk with Amanda & Co. in general. Later on, they went further on and I turned back to my car so I could get home and finish some work. On the way back, while I'm waiting for a light to cross the street, a cute woman approaches, mid-twenties, about 5'10" to 6' tall, give or take. She had on this cute blue skirt and a pink tank top. Resembled Scarlett Johansson with her sunglasses on. I checked her out subtly, as I would anyone I thought cute, and she went on across the street as the light turned, at a much faster pace than I.

She had to wait at the next crossing due to the light change, and zipped off ahead of me again, looking back occasionally. I wasn't sure if it was at me or not.

Further on, after peering back a few times, she decides to wait and cross the street to the opposite side than I. I pay little attention, but she does occasionally look back at me.

A few blocks up, I need to cross to the side she crossed to cuz my car is parked up and over that way. I cross, again trailing behind her yet again. She keeps looking back at me, more obviously this time, and then skips through traffic to get back to the original side the street… presumably away from me. As I approach my car and she zips on quickly, on the other side of the street again, she obviously looks back at me a few times. Then I vanish from her sight as I turn towards my vehicle.

I mean, I don't particularly stand out relative to Whyte Avenue. I was wearing jeans, a cowboy shirt, and just a basic pair of slip-on Naot footwear. Albeit I have something of a fat mohawk currently, and my nails are painted black… I'm clean cut and showered. I had the CD in my hand, no shank or anything. It essentially made me feel like I was some serial rapist she'd seen in the media or something.

It was a really odd sensation. We see ourselves in relation to how others treat and react to us. This was a particularly odd occurrence, but not the first time. A majority of the time people tend to forget me until they've met me a few times. My friend Jeremy didn't believe me when I told him, but over time he's introduced me to a number of his acquaintances and with every new occasion he has to re-introduce me cuz they don't recall. I pay it no mind as I'm used to it. I actually find it interesting as my general attitude and appearance isn't exactly what would normally blend into the quiet background of a bunch of Sears catalogue rejects hanging out at Bible camp on the weekends. I take some pride in my aesthetic, sometimes. But consistently, people tend to forget meeting me.

Also, as I am totally ambivalent about children, not caring one way or the other, and animals. But for some reason, kids and animals fucking adore me. Kids have followed me around in stores, hiding behind things and, giggling, peering out around corners to look at me. Perhaps they do it to everyone and I just log it in my memory more often? And my roommates' cat, Arthur, doesn't like anyone else but upon moving in he took an immediate liking to me, follows me around, and likes to watch me go to the bathroom. He literally waits for me at the bathroom door if he sees me heading that way. In the past, other people's dogs have often liked me that were well-known for not being the friendliest animals. Perhaps it's cuz I'm a Sagittarius?

Does anyone else out there notice particular reactions to their person? It's one thing to get odd reactions after conversing, as ideas can aggrivate or inspire others. Especially with the occult. But has anyone noticed any sort of unusual reactions from strangers? I also have no idea what was running through this Scarlett Johansson lookalike's head, so perhaps she had been accosted in college by someone resembling me? I have no clue.


channel null said...

I also have a similar superpower! Don't worry, though, chicks are always nervous when they're alone and they love it when guys are frightening. It gets their hormones flowing, kind of like cuddling. Frightening makes you "dangerous," at least, that's what I've been told. Experience suggests otherwise.

Besides frightening women from a distance by appearance alone, I have the ability to attract the notice of any authority figure--first hall monitors, then cops and bouncers. I'm tall, but no mohawk, no earplugs, and no StupidfdacialHair(tm). I figured it was the tall part--I'm easier to pick out of a crowd. It can get ridiculous, though. I'm certain people can see the demon-taint in an aura.

My more refined opinion is that people tend to have more narrow tolerances, but notice far more, than it first seems. After all, we only perceive consciously a minute amount of what we actually sense, and frequently have to discard various linguistic interpretations of sensations--e.g., it's not "bugs crawling" on you, it's "dry skin." That said, maybe something as subtle as posture, or an at-ease facial expression, or black fingernails, or the cut of a shirt, can cause a divide-by-zero in someone else's programming, without them so much as meeting you or seeing you act. Maybe that explains the kids' reaction: they're less programmed, or in the process of writing the necessary "consensus reality" programming. I also suspect that this is a feedback loop: we adopt the attitude others see us as, perhaps almost instantly.

Fell said...

Yeah, that whole "adopt the attitude as others see us as" is very applicable here. I felt very odd due to her (re)action towards me. It's like calling a kid an idiot enough times, it'll grow up to wholly believe in it's own stupidity. This was much more subtle, as I am not normally affected by other's actions towards me (I am fairly confident in who I am and how I carry myself). But her action towards me was so strong in its indirectness, it was just weird.

However, I've noticed it in other cases, too. As in, guys who normally don't think they're in the same league as some girl they want to talk to. If they talk to her believing that, she'll treat the guy that way. Regardless of who he is (unless, maybe, he's got money… or blow). On the other hand, an average joe can totally approach and talk to almost any girl if he simply exhibits an honest confidence in himself. (This also works vice versa for women and men.)

The action and reaction build the context.

Adam said...

I had a similar experience years ago when I went from a long haired hippy to a skin-head.

I got fed up one day with having hair past my shoulders so I just shaved it all off to a complete skin. Apart from the weird discord for the first few weeks between my mental image of myself (still with long hair) and the baldy git in the mirror, the reaction I got off other people was really quite eye opening.

It flipped from the common 'get your hair cut you long haired bastard' and related insults to people being openly very wary of me when we first met and strangers crossing the street when they saw me walking towards them. I even got randomly stopped by the Police and questioned about local burglaries, which was something that never happened when I had hair.

The funniest thing was even people I'd known for years began to treat me differently, as if I'd had a personality change and not a haircut.

There was a plus side though, I never had trouble getting to the bar when I went down the pub.

Fell said...

Oh yeah, one of my best friends — pictured in my profile here with me, Jason — is a boot boy. (Traditional skinhead values, not a neo-Nazi.) I never have issues when I go out with him and his crew. Other than when they're drunk they like to fight sometimes.

I want to look into doing a piece or two on fashion magic. A few years ago I started reading up on shamanic and aboriginal mask magic after having read Watchmen. The character Rorschach really piqued my curiosity about the power a mask could have over one's actions, as well as how others interpreted him.

Fashion as masks hold a helluva lot of power, and I don't think nearly enough people are aware of it. a) You need to have some knowledge of styles and trends, which seems to be lacking in scholastic circles. b) Those focusing on trends generally do so out of a lack of interested in anything deeper than the veneer of physical style people put forth. There is a schism here. More on this later, though.

Adam, one question: Did you notice your character change any after the shaving of the head? I am sure you did, in that when persons approach you differently often enough, there are avenues to explore other characteristics and what not.

Adam said...

Oh most definitely, I found there was a subtle feedback loop, like you were saying with blokes trying to chat up women who they think are out of their league.

The other thing about that whole period that links into your thing of fashion was that at the time I was moving away from the rock/indie scene of my teens and getting interested in the burgeoning dance culture (this was the early 90's) and the whole shaving of my head was part of a larger image change.

What I found interesting was observing the difference in social interactions with people at do's before and after. When I wasn't dressed in the uniform of that sub-culture (still in my Dm's and long hair) then I'd often get funny looks and trouble trying to get into squat parties. As soon as I changed my style I was treated completely differently and accepted.

Obviously at the time I was driven by a desire to be accepted but over the years I've deliberately played around with dressing in different ways just to see the effect.

Fell said...

Yeah there is a lot of potential through fashion, even though it bugs me to admit it. But it makes sense, it's the vernacular of aesthetic. The whole foray into one's own style is an exciting endeavour, too. It could be analogous to the shaman exulting her- or himself from previous social constraints but maintaining and understanding and intuition of the social language. It allows them to straddle that fine line between total outsider and respected member, à la Tyler Durden.

Too often I see reference to people sketching out or "losing their sanity" through some of this practice. Perhaps a good involvement in the social tapestry is necessary to maintain an element of said "sanity"? The shaman maintained it, so should we.

Adam said...

Yeah you've got a good point there.
I also like the idea of a shaman as someone having a definite social role within the community, it would seem to keep you more centered. I mean what's the point of being an illumined grandmaster if you haven't got any friends and smell a bit funny?

You think Grant Morrison was moving on similar lines in the Invisibles with Lord Fanny? I remember he mentioned (letters page/interview?) about the tradition of Shaman dressing as women to break out of normal modes of thought.

Thinking about it I suppose most people do it all the time unconsciously when they go to work. A lot of people have a 'professional face' they wear during office hours.

On another random tangent I was reading something on Stephen Grasso's blog a while ago (which has been down for a while) about how he was thinking about having a suit made along the lines of a Hoodoo Gris-Gris bag. Sort of clothing with specific magickal function, thought that was a pretty good idea.

Fell said...

I believe this was definitely part of the magical purpose of robes, being white or the multicoloured ones of ceremony. Albeit tacky to everyday Western perspective, in a trance state the colours take on very different and valuable properties.

I can see the potency in having a sort of gris-gris bag. It reminds me again of Rorschach, from Alan Moore's Watchman. The transformative powers of Rorschach's mask was that it allowed him to channel his race into a focus, this character that he created, this vigilante. But after a while, he actually became the entity that he had embibed the mask with. When they confiscated his mask after being caught and sent to prison, he laughed as they mocked him without it.

He just prowled the prison, stating that he didn't require the mask any longer. He was Rorschach now.

I've been trying to follow this transformation in others, one fellow in particular I used to work with. But it's hard to teach people, unless they're willing to learn. And I am wary of the "mask" or fashion taking over and starting a sort of arrogant Jekyll & Hyde conundrum with the trainees newfound idendity or boosted esteem.

Rev. Illuminatus Maximus said...

I can see the potency in having a sort of gris-gris bag.


Real gris-gris bags do the trick too!