Mystery, what so we desperately enjoy, is painful when it lives at home. A “nothing” explanation for anything won’t do. We need a Something to explain away our troubles.
Or to bring them on.
It’s like putting together a puzzle without having the box. You have in front of you a thousand pieces of information but haven’t any idea as to how they fit together. Some of it is easy enough, sure, but you know you’re missing more pieces than you have. So what do you do? You take what you know and envision how the rest of the puzzle should look to create your own reality, as beautiful, though devastating, might it be…
It starts always with an infinitely dense, nearly invisible, point in reality. I’ll be geeky and call it a Singularity.
The Singularity is a pinprick of information in disagreement with the reality you’ve interpreted. Let’s say you expect your boyfriend to say he loves you just before you hang up the phone. Not only have you grown accustomed to hearing it, you also expect that he will say it first. Not a universal or even justifiable expectation, but you get the picture.
Then one day on a happy drive home from work, a conversation with him ends with no “I love you.” A trivial, but noticeable, disappointment. You’ll brush off the event, and maybe forget it ever happened.
*Sting* The Singularity is born.
Two weeks later he is home very late from work without calling. This happens, though rarely, but for some reason this time is different. This time it slows you down a little more than usual. You’re somewhat skeptical, but irrationally so. You brush it off.
Another week later he’s late but brings home flowers and oodles of affection. He’s more playful than usual. It’s not like him. Not even close. Is this genuine, or does he feel guilty about something? It’s probably nothing. You enjoy him like this, so whatever. Tickle away!
And comes another week. You’re in a rush ending a telephone conversation with him and so this time you go first: “I love you!” you say. “Yep,” he responds monotonously. No “I love you, too.” You’re being too critical, right?
So here you are now, with three tiny, disparate, insignificant pieces of information that, one on top of another, don’t fit with your interpretation of your relationship. They’re nothing that should bother you, you know that. You tell yourself to ignore them all, but your mind is on guard behind the scenes. Something is different. And that something must be explained. “It’s nothing” won’t cut it.
You find yourself scrutinizing more and more of what he does, how he acts. You hate to admit it, but you sometimes worry when he’s out with his friends or is late from work. No way he’s losing interest in you. Right?
Eventually comes the time you’re no longer observing with increased scrutiny. Your mind can’t find an explanation for why things feel different. It must engineer its own. So it stops observing and it starts searching.
Minds go searching when solving a mystery, which is all and well in science and health and God and so on, but maybe not always ideal in matters of romance. In the matter of romance, the mind searches only when it thinks something is wrong, and if it’s on a quest, it’ll create a problem to explain a problem.
Inside two months you’ve gone from honeymoon-happy to full-fledged insecure. Though there’s no proof of anything, not so much as a shred of reliable circumstantial evidence, you’re convinced of something. You don’t know what. But it’s not nothing.
Your mind goes wild. The interrogations begin. The arguments follow. He assures you he’s faithful, and you want to believe it (or do you?). Hearts are broken and mended again and again. There are ups and downs, then hills and valleys, then hills and hells–a universe of insecurity. Wherever it goes no one knows…
And it all started with a simple, forgettable, hardly noteworthy, pinprick.