Expectations among urban adventures

2019-12-07 @Lifestyle

Dictates an ancient stoic principle: hold no expectations. Do that, and you’ll suffer no unmet expectations.

Nothing prevents you from appreciating the potentially rendered benefits encountered by happenstance. Consider them a bonus. (Read Seneca, ie De Beneficiis, for a more introspective treatment.)

Boarding the rush hour metro on a recent evening, I was not the mindful protagonist. I must have carelessly drifted off into Neverland. The metro car felt notably more spacious than the customary at this hour. I considered that very bonus to which I earlier alluded. It would have marked the end of story.

Notwithstanding, some women glanced in my direction. The air felt ill-humoured. The looks varied between indifferent, mildly depressed, concerned, to alarmingly repugnant.

Yet I occupied my fantasy tale still, descending further along the car. A woman finally tapped my shoulder and uttered something I initially misheard. Then she repeated. “Esse é o vagão de mulheres.” (This is a women’s car.)

I looked around, and eureka … indeed it was. Not one other male occupant.

This Rio metro system feature slipped my mind entirely. Women cars enabled strictly during the rush hour period, the pink-colored labels are as clear as sky to the heedful observer.

Does it always feel this tense? Or had they deemed me a particularly threatening specimen? On few occasions had I found the company of so many women this chilling. These were my thoughts, waiting to switch cars at the next station.

I had no expectation to occupy a fully jammed train car at this hour. Nor had I expected any comfort.

Consequently, the faux pas doesn’t exclude the potential for mild entertainment.

Joining the party in a more traditional train car, I found myself tightly sandwiched between bodies of uniformly distributed sex. This too, I didn’t expect not to occur, for it nearly always does. And yet, when it doesn’t, my indifference shall not waver.

Passengers squeezed to capacity in sometimes unnatural contortions, struggling to grasp on to an object or subject and maintain a semblance of a balance, care not to violate the intimate bounds so delicately woven. It would take a rare individual to entertain any moderate extension to the tense act.

And yet the car ceases movement, time and time again. Discomfort lurks. Involuntary exaltations are heard. Expectations seem unmet.

Precisely in midst of such frequent an irregularity does expectation abstinence prove most powerful. Does a halted mode of transport terribly deviate in principle from an orchestrated circus act frozen mid-course?

It surely presents one or two discomforts. But does the discomfort cause any substantial ache compared to even a morning migraine? Does it render the slightest bodily ailment? Or do you merely permit emotions to run amok in consequence of unmet expectations? Pay the thought due diligence.

Similarly, ask yourself, what expectations do you hold at a point of a rendezvous? Do you expect a timely attendance? What thoughts does your companion’s unfashionably late arrival trigger? What flows through your consciousness? How do you spend the period of anticipation?

Ponder the above, for the circumstance is one among the frequent. One may opt to numb the consciousness entirely, seeking refuge in virtual reality. Another may experience an increasing buildup of rage.

The circumstance behind the late arrival may lie among the incidental. Alternatively, it may reflect a misalignment of priorities. These factors unbeknownst to you may float through your mind, polluting your better judgement.

Be that as it may, consider this. The affairs led to your current predicament. Nothing can reverse matters.

What is the better use of time? Is it the sour rumination of the subject? Or is it the acceptance of the ephemeral moment, and the subsequent acting in a more conductive manner?

Imagine a period of relaxation on a park bench, solitary retreat in course, expectations nonexistant. Are the two situations, decomposed into their primitive components, radically different? Need your imagination cycle prematurely?

It is not unheard of to appear at an organized event and guess what? Not a soul. Yours truly lounges there for a time, a quarter hour after, possibly more.

But yours truly holds no expectations, recognizing this as a too recurring of an act.

Any former parameters are written off the books. Remain myself, the ephemeral moment, and the surrounding environment.

I might form my own meetup with the individuals in sight. Or invade another. Decomposed into primitive aspects, a meetup need be nothing more than an exchange of ideas among characters.

I may venture on an unexpected side journey. I may pursue a creative endeavor, this subject to few physical constraints. I may proceed on a solitary walk.

There is one thing I will not do: plunge into virtual reality.

Questions, comments? Connect.