Flannery Wilson
5 min readSep 8, 2017
Perfectly staged reality.

Last year I found myself out. I could see myself walking towards myself from the other side of the hallway.

I had been avoiding myself up until that point without really realizing it. Now, I had finally caught up with myself.

My other me looked more serious than normal.

My face was in shadows and I couldn’t make out any of my features.

That made me nervous. I gulped.

So I continued to walk towards myself, warily. I worried that I could see my own nervousness and that I was judging myself.

When I got close enough to myself, I was afraid that my “hi” would come out as a whisper.

I considered pretending not to notice myself, stare ahead — look at my phone, perhaps — and just keep walking.

That way, if I ran into myself later I could simply say: “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t see you! How rude of me.”

Despite these desperate calculations, I knew that there wouldn’t be enough time to duck into the bathroom or pretend I needed to use the copy machine.

At this point, avoidance was futile. It would have been too awkward — even for me. The other me would have thought that I was weird.

Why did I feel so trepidatious and uncomfortable in the first place? Surely I would be friendly to myself. It was just me, after all!

I judged myself for being afraid of myself because that in itself seemed paranoid.

Seeing all of my own thoughts from an outside perspective made me feel worse at first. Then better.

It was an odd feeling to realize that much of what I had been telling myself — about life really — was an intricate fictional narrative, woven over the course of many years.

Perhaps coincidentally, but perhaps not, I suddenly became interested in the philosophical concept of belief and its relation to lying, truth, knowledge and fiction (particularly in cinema).

Suddenly, my life didn’t seem so far removed from the problems of philosophy.

Flannery Wilson

Flannery has a PhD in Comparative Literature. She teaches French, Italian, and visual media. Her book on Taiwanese cinema can be found on Amazon.