One of my favourite pass times is holding imaginary conversations with people. Only rarely are these conversations happy.
Mostly because they are with people who’ve made me unhappy in some way or with those whom I have unwittingly hurt. These conversations are a great way of setting things right.
Things that I should have set right but didn’t or couldn’t because I either lacked courage or the will to do it.
It’s like a replay of the real events, only this time it plays in your head and turns out just the way you wanted it to instead of the way it actually happened. So there you are changing an event that has happened already.
For instance, you acted like a coward in the afternoon on the metro when you didn’t stand up to a creep trying to feel a girl half his age and then you spend the rest of the day giving shit to that bastard — in your mind.
I wonder if this happens only to me.
Such imaginary talks are not always grim though. Some times they are funny too. Funny at my expense!
For example, that smart one-liner that didn’t come at the right moment and you said something dumb instead. It’s only later that the right repartee comes and then you replay the scene again with the right lines and imagine the reaction.
So you see these little talks that I have with myself are a great leveller. They help me redeem myself a bit in my own eyes even though in my heart of hearts I know what a coward or a dumb ass I am.
I could write a PhD thesis on imaginary conversations. I am kind of an expert on that. Been at it since my childhood. I can even classify them.
They are broadly of three kinds — post-incident, pre-incident and those that in most likelihood will never happen in real life.
Out of the three variations I can’t quite say which one is the most frequent in my case but quality-wise I would say the last category is the most satisfying.
Mostly because in an imaginary conversation that you know is never going to take place you’re in complete control — of the setting, of the topic and even your opponent (for want of a better word) since you are the script writer.
But it is also the most tricky of the three variations. You have to be completely honest and fair because there will always be the temptation to make you easily win the imaginary war of words.
So as the scriptwriter of the conversation you have to act in all fairness. But if you fall prey to the temptation it will leave you with a sense of dissatisfaction. You would know that you didn’t give the other person a chance. This insider’s knowledge will take away the zing from your victory.
I mostly win such a conversation or argument, but I like to think that I always give my adversary a fighting chance based on my idea of the person and his or her argumentative abilities.
But it becomes trickier if you are talking/debating/arguing with a person you don’t know. That is exactly what I have been doing the whole day.
I have a job interview tomorrow and I have already played it out in my mind. I have even put an imaginary face to my interviewers and as you can guess I have managed to impress them!
The only hitch is I am about half-a-day away from the interview and not in a very relaxed mood. At least not as relaxed and confident as I have imagined myself to be the whole day at the imaginary interview played out between my ears.