A Form of Chinese Whispers (of Sorts) by Ambika Thompson

You tell someone something and then immediately regret it. You can’t take it back, so you try and pretend it never happened. They inevitably tell at least one other person. You don’t find this out for months until one day this other person drops it on you, and they tell you that someone else knows as well. You try and explain your way out of it, because you’re incredibly embarrassed by this whole story. It makes you feel exposed and vulnerable like you’ve been walking through a grocery store naked with multiple dildos strapped to your head.

It’s not until a couple of days later that you realize that this other person, who doesn’t know that you know that they know, has been acting really weird towards you for a certain amount of time that correlates exactly to the length of time that they’ve known the thing that they don’t know that you now know they know.

You start finding out that more and more people know from all this random information that starts coming at you from all sorts of arbitrary people. For example, like the post person who has taken to leaving your neighbours’ packages with you, even though the neighbours are at home, just so the post person can get a look at the person who said that thing even though you immediately regretted it right after you said it, and you’re only left to wonder how the hell they knew about that. Or like the bus driver who said to you, “You’re that kind of girl, eh?” Which makes you feel really creepy and weird, even more so when he follows it up with an attempt at making a sexy tongue flick. This then leaves you wondering how the bus driver knew as well, and who seriously thinks sexy tongue flicks are sexy anyways?

Eventually you just come to some passive acceptance about the situation. When the next person says, “You’re that kind of girl?” you can say yes or no, just ignore them, or change the subject by wrapping bacon around your head and saying, “Yo soy una dátile abrigo en baicon con queso.”

You realize that it doesn’t matter. And eventually, people will forget that you ever said that thing that you immediately regretted having said, because those people, they’ll get far too busy thinking about the things that other people have said and regretted, and those people, they’ll narcissistically become obsessed with the things that they themselves have said that they know that other people now know they said too.

That will be that, you’ll think to yourself, before you conclude that you feel bad, depressed, directionless, forlorn, and despondent now that nobody is talking about you anymore, and before you know it, you’ve gone and said something to somebody else that you immediately regretted right after having said it.

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