I went hiking his weekend and found myself making up stories about the people I passed on the trail based on if and how they said hello to me. When I hike solo, I sometimes feel extra vigilant about having a read on my surroundings, dividing people I pass into (1) those who might help me if I was in trouble and later become my friend and (2) those that wouldn’t. I wonder how accurate I really am about this given I have so little information to go off of, which reminded me of Miranda July’s story of a silent retreat she went on.
In the video, she talks about how she felt extreme attraction to a woman on the retreat. July constructed a story and fantasized mind about this woman’s likeness having never made eye contact, heard her voice, or interacted with her aside from sitting behind her. July was proven entirely off base when the limitations of the retreat were revoked and the woman returned to her everyday being. Lena Dunham, who was giving the interview, sums up July’s experience: “If you want it badly enough, you can mistake anyone for someone you could love.”