the notes of X

Permanent Confusion

What are we in for

Anna's kinky alter ego / Marijuana

While we were walking back to the facility, Alex and Catherine called me and asked me if I was OK to sleep in Catherine and Anna’s room with Anna sometimes, so they can sleep together. The rooms were next to each other, so it wouldn’t be a big deal. I refused, saying that I don’t want to sleep in someone else’s bed. “Fine, then Anna would go to sleep on Alex’s bed,” Catherine said. I said that it was fine by me, as I didn’t think that Anna would be OK, but to my surprise she agreed immediately.

After the arrangement was made, Alex and Catherine resumed their private conversation and left me and Anna alone, and so we continued our talk from before, she asked me again about what I was in for (using the same expression that I thought of as a joke before) and about the marijuana cigarettes, but I insisted that she tell me first, which she tried to do but could not, or at least I wasn’t sure what to make of her story: apparently she had gotten bored one evening so she had created an anonymous profile on some social network which I haven’t heard of and had created, in her own words, “a totally different personality” for herself that, the way I understood it, was defined mainly by her extreme sexual promiscuity (while the real Anna, she told me, actually never had sex). The initial idea was to do some “exploratory communication”, that is, to chat about things that she didn’t normally talk about with her friends, or in a way that she wouldn’t do it normally, but she gradually came about from chatting about all kinds of stuff to only talk with people about their sexual experiences and then about her made up sex life (picking older married guys at sport pubs and fucking them at parks at night, having group sex. This resulted in her sharing more and more of her personal details with people (pics of her face, links to some of her “vanilla” social media profiles) and ultimately in one of her “partners” crossing the border - that story she left untold, and instead only mentioned that her parents had discovered her anonymous profiles and after that had sent her here immediately.

Like I said, I didn’t know what to make of her story as, I felt, she herself didn’t, which gave me the eerie impression that some of it was fake not so much in its factual aspect, but in the way that she expressed it in terms of her own motivation - the little she said about why she did what she did was along the lines of “I was horny” which, I thought, felt really insincere, and when I asked her “Why didn’t you just have sex with someone?” in my attempt to provoke her, and her response left me even more baffled - she said “I don’t know, I have never thought about it,” and then went on to talk about how her parents would never let her have a boyfriend (as if they did approve her hitting on random people on the Internet) and how they trying to restrict her about everything. The way she talked left me with the impression that some of these restrictions were internalized, that is, they had been slammed in her head for so long that in her mind, that they formed a layer that was below the layer of things that she wouldn’t do for fear of being punished, - one that consisted of things that she would just never ever even think about doing, even if there wasn’t anyone watching her. The fact that sex was one of these things made it even weirder for me, since I also considered myself sexually repressed. At school we used to joke that sex was invented as a consolation for people who can’t factor quadratic equations, but we all knew that the reality was that jokes like that one were invented as a consolation for people who can factor them (there were other jokes from this series, like the one about why a mathematicians have to have both a wife or and a mistress, but I spare you, as, this is a very serious book.

“Because they can tell the wife they are with the mistress, tell the mistress that they are with the wife and stay at home to do math.”

But I guess there was much difference in the way we perceive things that we consider forbidden and things that are just taboo, the former constituting joke material, and the latter bringing drug-like satisfaction to some people, when brought up.

After opening up to me, Anna pressed me to do the same and tell her everything about my cannabis smoking, something that I though I’d do easily, but that actually was pretty hard to come to terms with, after viewing it in the context of her virtual sex addiction (shortly before that I had tried to think about whether I had restrictions that I had internalized in the way she internalized her sexual frustrations and what they were, but I couldn’t think of absolutely anything, which to my analytical mind meant that such thing did exist, else I would have thought about it sooner (which it indeed did)). At first I started telling her how I began smoking - a story that seemed as plain as can be, because I basically just went to my classmate bought an already wrapped cigarette and lit it with a friend of mine, but Anna seemed very interested in it and, after I finished telling it, she immediately stopped me with a question: “OK, but why have you decided to do so, why have you decided that you want to do it?” and when I responded something about the effect the drug has: “Right, but how did you know what the effect was before you tried it, it just seems kind of too purposefully to me that you did it like this.”

She insisted that such things typically happen by accident: “When Cathy started smoking it happened after someone gave her a joint instead of a regular cigarette, other people just decide to try when someone around them, but I haven’t heard people who straight up bought a joint!” she said this and then stopped, leaving me wondering whether it was normal to buy a joint, or whether the habit of smoking marijuana is supposed to be transferred from one person to another, like the wholly scriptures or something. When I thought of his comparison was amusing and also was a good response to what Anna said, so I shared it with her, laughing and let her know that I am not really feeling her dilemma: “I did it because I did it,” I added “Does everything has to have an explanation?”. She insisted that it indeed did have to have an explanation, and so I was forced to make one up.

Meeting my roommate Alex / Picking friends / Who am I / How switching places would solve both of our issues

Hallway Church and Turing / Being stupid

X Nerd stereotypes / How I got my nickname / Establishing connection with my younger self

Fence Outside / Not being punished / Discreet and continuous models

Outside This or nothing / The moon / Fractals / Me and Alex / Explanations / Is the world mathematical

The sleepover Anna's childish behavior / Critics / Boring robots / Adoring Anna

The sleepover contd Irony / Heroes and deserters / Retreat to where? / Real and ideal / Choices

Sex Anna's fantasy / What makes us weird / The establishment and being normal

Cigarettes Alex's good night sleep / About me and Alex again / Sex and love / The proof that P does not equal NP