Sometimes I wonder if the power to suspend disbelief when you are reading fiction starts to spill over into everyday life. There are times when I have unrealistic expectations of normal…like maybe somebody says, “this cat can do a back flip” and rather than thinking that clearly this is a lie or a joke, I’m more inclined to think that I am about to witness something pretty great. And my questions are most likely going to start, not with the idea of the back flip, but by desiring to gather background info. “Neat. What color is your cat? Does he like cheese?”
What I’m saying is, I’m not so sure that I always catch what is important. I take for granted that any number of surprising and lovely things can happen at any given time. Once, I threw a bit of graham cracker into a camp fire and thought it incinerated instantly upon hitting the flame. I was delighted, until I saw that the damn thing had landed at the base of the fire and still existed in much the same form.
Because of this persistent confusion over what is possible in the world, I have a tendency to respond inappropriately to real or imagined stimuli. Eat how many cupcakes? Sure, that can’t be a problem. Make it across town in how many minutes? Can’t be that far. Yup, that might have been Sasquatch.
Now combine this with a horrific capacity for worry and anxiety. I focus in on a detail that could likely be irrelevant: “huh, I don’t recall this bone in my toe and it seems differently shaped” could quickly turn into imminent death from toe cancer. You see? That is the problem with believing the improbable. You get the crap stuff right alongside the good. The car driving behind you for a few blocks can easily make you paranoid. A nice gesture can launch an unfortunate Carrie flashback.
Maybe the brain gets so used to uncritically processing unlikely information that it just sort of rewires. It unplugs logic and goes with whatever weirdo thing you present to it. I don’t know. What I do know is, sometimes it is really great to still look around you with a sense of wonder…even if you wonder if it makes sense.