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The Tinkered Mind

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January 22nd, 2023


After many months of non-stop work, Lucilius was finally done. He sat down, letting out an exhausted and relived sigh. He rubbed his face, and then looked out at the water. Finally, he thought. He paused for a moment, reflecting on it all. The idea had consumed him. Taken over his life. It had all been worth it, but, Lucilius wondered.


Had it been deliberate?


Lucilius chuckled. It was as if he hadn’t had the idea and then executed it. But more like the idea had found him, gained ahold of him and operated him like a zombie.


Lucilius thought of the fungus that infects ants, taking over their brain and turning them into mindless automatons that do the bidding of the fungus so the fungus can spread. Like a virus, Lucilius thought.


He chuckled some more. Were ideas like viruses? He puzzled over the answer, looking out at the curved horizon. The few islands poking up through the slate gray water.


An odd feeling grew within Lucilius as he reflected over the many months. Some of his friendships - relationships - had suffered. He’d not been able to give them the care and attention they deserved. He’d been.. overwhelmed by the need to get that project done.


Suddenly he wondered if it was worth it.


“Eh, I can make it up to them..” He said out loud. But he wondered if it was true.


He made a silent vow to do his best. Now with that blasted project out of the way, he had the time, the attention and the energy. It’s human, he told himself. We all make mistakes, and sometimes, we can get a little lost. It’s ok. We wander, we discover, and in order to do that we need to leave those normal patterns of life. 


He unconsciously started to chew at a finger nail, wondering if he was in denial. Rationalizing. You discover who your real friends are. Everyone says that, he thought. Maybe that’s all that happened? The solid relationships can flex, and bend to accommodate for this kind of thing?


What kind of thing exactly? He asked silently. 


That idea that had grabbed hold of him. But it was finished now. Finally. Relax, he told himself. He breathed deeply and refocused on the calm expanse of ocean.  He closed his eyes. He had time now. He would make everything right.


He breathed deeply. But he did not exhale. His eyes snapped open. His eyes dilated as they blurred in concentration at some pointless distance. 


“Yes….” He breathed. “Of course!”


Suddenly he jumped up from his chair and rushed back inside, back to his desk to get started.


Another idea had seized Lucilius.

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