Friday, June 11, 2010

The Self-Deception Questionnaire

If you answer "no" to any of the 20 questions, you're deceiving yourself. 1. Have you ever felt hatred toward either of your parents? 2. Do you ever feel guilty? It asks if you have ever made a fool of yourself. That was the... mission statement of my childhood.

#3 is obnoxious. Does every attractive person of the opposite sex turn you on?
You can recognize that a man is attractive without being attracted to him. It's like how I know that Joseph Gordon-Levitt has boyish good looks, but

That can't ever turn me on.

I'm going to skip to the end because #5 is Do you ever get angry?

18. Have you ever enjoyed your bowel movements?

19. Have you ever wanted to rape or be raped by someone?
Everyone is an animal. I've never wanted to be the rapist. I guess the closest I ever came was my first lucid dream.

It was me and the man I liked in a dark concrete hallway. We stood between two metal bookcases. Everything was black but for one fluorescent spotlight on us. The eyeballs of my sleeping body were pounding against the lids as they spun; I felt it while I dreamed. I examined my crush's beard hairs individually. Each blade was in high-definition; long and glossy black, as thick as slices of cheddar. I could zoom in on them until one blade was bigger than my hands could wrap around, and zoom back out. His beard hairs are what I remember best, that streak of shine, and the thickness, and the plenitude.

I was only partially in control of the dream. I did whatever I wanted to do, which was stare into his beard hairs like I was tripping mushrooms. But he was resistant when I tried to kiss him. I went for it, and his face stiffened. He leaned away from me. Rather than become flustered, I said to myself, "This is a dream, and you will kiss me in my dreams." I placed my palms on his cheeks and don't remember the kiss. I think that glitch in control was my demise.

My second and final lucid dream took place in a warehouse. The air was musky with brown daylight. I jumped from rafter to rafter. A zombie jumped after me. My heart dropped like a roller-coaster when I took flight. But I knew I was dreaming, so I had a lot of fun with that zombie. Even though that's all I did. Just jump. Jump. Jump. Jump. Jump.

20. Have you ever thought of committing suicide in order to get back at someone?
I get urges to do stupid shit all the time, but it's never a vendetta.

When I was a teenager, I went on a cruise and contemplated jumping overboard. Kicked my toes up and gripped the rail. I knew I would never do it, but I gazed into dark, hypnotic waves each night and fantasized about my doom. Glanced up a lot, expecting to find birds, and then back down, to the healthy black splash of the sea. Would I break my neck, would the boat chop me up? Sharks?

I still consider sliding over third-story railings at the museum like a rag doll, and swan-diving down the center of a spiral staircase. I contemplate crashing my car into phone poles, plunging my hand into a turbine or weather-vane. Poking my tongue on a hot stove. Jumping in front of a magic spell, Avada Kedavra. Tipping an ant farm above my head and drinking its contents. If there's an opportunity to lose a leg, or free-fall down an elevator shaft onto poisonous glass, I'm contemplating it.

I heard about this questionnaire through the WNYC show Radiolab, episode "Deception." Find the podcast on iTunes, for god's sake! And find the full questionnaire here: