One time I caught myself in a flagrant act of plagiarism when I was watching a rerun of The West Wing.
Some months prior I had written a meditative passage about how there should be a word for when people paradoxically surprise you and meet your expectations at the same time. Do you know the feeling I’m talking about? It’s equal parts willful ignorance and stupid optimism, with an undercurrent of deep subconscious dread that you recognize only in retrospect.
Listening to President Bartlet hold forth with a somewhat pithier version of “my” idea (when he was explaining how he felt about Toby’s betrayal, in case you’re wondering), I felt a powerful meta form of willful-ignorance-stupid-optimism-hindsight-dread. And then it was like, oh shit, there should also be a word for when you realize that all your Deepest Thoughts are probably just regurgitated episodes of Dawson’s fucking Creek.
It made me worry that every smart thought I’ve ever written down was actually someone else’s.
This anecdote is a comment on two things, really. One: in my darker moments, one of which I confess is happening right here right now, I worry that life is just a series of shitty non-surprises and unoriginal thoughts. And two: I have no idea what to do about it, except sit here and type one word after another until I feel a little bit better.
Yeah. Anyone got a good joke?