Ah, precious mind readers. People that can know what I’m thinking.
The only person who ever actually knew what I was thinking at any given moment was S, a person I met through the International Student Office. He had an almost instinctive understanding of me and I of him. Of course, he was also constantly worried we were going to hell for our God-given connection. When we got out of sync, he ripped himself out of sync in order to reattune to cultural pressures his association with me had caused him to drift from. It was heartbreaking. Until my father died, the end of my friendship with him was the most I had grieved in my life.
Certainly there are people who have tried behaving as though they knew what I was thinking at any time. It’s an easy trick these days: most people use the exact same language and jump to a very limited number of conclusions. I wonder if that “I know what you’re thinking,” manipulation signals one of the scores of antisocial personality disorders out there. “I know your innermost thoughts,” my neighbor tried to claim, lying on my bed. She didn’t. Instead, she projected HER thoughts and desires into me.
The girl at the bus stop who started screaming at me after she had talked about her awful mother. She assumed I was thinking she was worthless/lesser. Her mother had said/done the same things mine had. If she’d kept her mouth shut, I’d have told her.
P, a friend from college, always thought he knew what I believed or what my party line was. Often he was close but he was rarely dead on – also, a lot of my opinions got extrapolated and cemented without my direct participation. I let a lot of stuff slide; it usually worked for him and while he sometimes made me twitch I enjoyed his company. No one has been able to engage me to the extent that he did since.
Most people only have specific opinions, taken from a cloud of tropes that form the atmospheric fog of our culture. I don’t, not usually. I’m one of those people with newer ideas – as far as new can go anyway. I am the reason someone made the meme “New looks like crazy to dumb people.” Story of my life.
My fantasy collaborator – that persons definitely has ESP, in sync with me. I haven’t been so lucky so far, although as I do some memoir writing, I may have the layers of fear glazed onto me in childhood and only broken a little bit every year of adulthood to thank for that.