The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea


I noticed that all the people had gone to the place and were doing the thing so I decided that I would follow suit. I decided that I would do that too. Everyone else was going to the place and doing the thing so there must be something in it I thought. So I went to the place and I started to do the thing. This wasn’t as easy as it sounds however – I didn’t actually know what they were all doing. I didn’t know how to do the thing; to be perfectly honest I didn’t even know what the thing was!


I acted as if I knew what it was though. I made out that I knew. I didn’t have much choice – it would have looked very weird if I’d have been there in the place with everyone else not doing the thing, just standing there like a prize idiot! It would also have been pretty weird if it became apparent to everyone around me that I was only pretending to be doing the thing and that I didn’t actually have the slightest clue about anything really. That would have been very weird indeed – it wouldn’t just have been weird, it would have made me look like a total dick! I can’t even think about how embarrassing that would be…


Basically, I was under a lot of pressure. I had to look as though I knew what I was doing even though I didn’t. I had to fit in and yet I didn’t even understand what it was that I had to fit into. Everyone else around me was busy doing the thing, doing the thing, doing the thing. They all looked as if they knew what they were doing and why! Their confidence, their evident self-assurance was palpable. Not only was it palpable it was frightening! How could I possibly get away with pretending that I knew all about doing the thing and what doing the thing entailed, I wondered? I was going to get found out for sure!


As you can imagine at this point I was really sweating it. The sweat was pouring down my face. Metaphorically speaking. What the hell was I doing here? What in God’s name as I at? I knew I didn’t belong even if no one else did and anyway before too long they would start to smell it off me one way or another. My complete lack of confidence and self-assurance was like a particular type of offensive body-odour, it occurred to me. Perhaps no one would say anything, perhaps it would just be too embarrassing for anyone to say anything, but they would nevertheless know. They would know in the same way that they would if someone had announced it over a megaphone. The humiliation would be unbearable.


I didn’t want to go back out of that place though. I didn’t want to go back where I had come from – the wide open space of the outside world. I had found some kind of unexpected security for myself here and I was afraid to give it up! I was afraid of going back out there. The nameless terror waited for me out there and although I didn’t know very much (if anything) about it or what it was all about I knew one thing for sure and that was that I didn’t ever want to meet it again! I was as sure of this as I have ever been sure about anything,


At least here was safe from that nameless terror. It couldn’t get me here. All around me people were doing the thing, doing the thing, doing the thing. They all looked so very secure in doing the thing. They all knew exactly what they were doing and why – there was no doubt about this. As I have said, I found this very intimidating. They were all clearly getting a lot of kudos from doing the thing (whatever the thing was, because as I have also said I didn’t have a clue about that) whereas I was suffering from having no kudos at all. I was painfully lacking in kudos as I was sure anyone could plainly see if they took the trouble to have a good look at me. Which thankfully they didn’t seem to be inclined to do as they were all so busy and all so full of themselves. Naturally I didn’t have any kudos. How could I have any kudos when I didn’t have the slightest clue as to what I was doing? How could I have Kudos when I was nothing more than a faker? You can’t get kudos from faking it – even I knew that.


So here I was caught between the nameless terror that stalked me whenever I went outside and the terrible fear of being found out for a fake on the inside. Caught between a rock and a hard place. Caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. What a predicament. What a life. The nameless terror was by far the worst thing however because I knew it would eat me up in a second whereas at least I seemed to be surviving here. In some kind of a fashion anyway. So I stuck it out and kept on letting on that I knew what I was doing. I kept on pretending to be doing the thing. I kept on making out – as best I could – that I knew what I was doing and why…


I worked at it and I worked at it. I gave it everything I had and as time went by I even started to develop a little flair for the job. I even started getting a little bit of kudos for myself. Not much, just a shade of it, but still it was something. Encouraged by my modest success I kept at it and at it and then one day I actually started to feel that I really did know what I was doing! I had gotten so good at pretending that I knew what I was doing (and why) that I had even been able to fool myself!







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