The moment the experiment began, a paper airplane presented itself in front of me. I threw it. It lurched forward, then twisted back around, landing just two feet away from me. The spot? Where my three new pots were. Three pots I was about to leave behind. Everything is for my benefit.
Coming down the hill into downtown, an ostentatious supercar was in front of me, and a minivan of people reaching out their windows to tell me that I “looked so good” was to the side. I didn’t crash, didn’t break my fresh pots, and experienced heightened self confidence. Everything is for my benefit.
Later that day, as I stood on the bus with my bike attached to the rack and my helmet planted on my head, a man started ranting. He told me that I needed to be careful, because I’ve “only one ass to break”. He tells me to ride on sidewalks, which is absolutely poor advice for many conditions. “And watch out for driveways”. It felt strange and disrespectful, ignoring the concept that I could have achieved any safety lessons on my own, but I couldn’t help but laugh about it in the context of “everything is for your benefit”.
Something felt oddly spiritual about these rapidly occurring unusual experiences I could directly relate to the experiment. But maybe I was just looking hard.
I came down with a severe cold on Friday, beginning with delirium during my senior project presentation, and culminating through the memorial day weekend and the start of this week. I felt unconscious, an automaton. I disassociated from space itself, losing my earbuds at school on Tuesday and feeling overwhelmed in facing my memory and place. Everything is for my benefit? I guess Folklife is always a disappointment anyways, and it gave me a valid excuse for the mistakes I made. I experienced a load of television and virtual city building over the weekend that must in some way alter my reference point, perhaps for my own benefit.
Sometimes things genuinely aren’t for your benefit, and it’s pretty toxic to go by the policy that they always are. I’m a white cis dude, so society has been quite literally built for my benefit. Society does tell the underprivileged that they should accept conditions as is, and get on with life. You’ve got a water fountain, what’s the issue? And that’s why this is an experiment, not a way to live permanently.