Eye contact

May 22nd

I have achieved mastery in looking other people straight into the eyes and maintaining eye contact. Surprisingly, I’ve noticed that a lot of people don’t like it and don’t appreciate my efforts. There was a time when I didn’t like it as well. While talking, I would avoid any direct contact between the eyes. There was something deeply indecent in looking into other people’s eyes. I was afraid of too much familiarity I could see there and since it was easier just to look vaguely over or to the side of my interlocutor’s face, that was what I did.

Not anymore. While talking, I look directly at another person, directly into the eyes. Even if just for a while, some people return my gaze. Some will start looking around the room, or around any space where we are. Some will maintain contact for a couple of seconds before looking away. Some will be visibly surprised, some visibly annoyed, some visibly scared, and some will squirm like a liar just caught lying. Some will make an attempt to return my gaze, but again after a moment, they give up. Why?

When I was actively looking to avoid any eye contact in my previous lifetime, it was because I was hiding something. There was an untold truth about me that wanted to cover and keep covered. And I was afraid that my eyes will betray me. So that was my reason. What do other people have to hide?

I also find a sadistic pleasure to push it up a notch while talking to people I don’t like — like some of my superiors at work. I not only maintain eye contact with them, as they twitch and fidget, looking everywhere but into my eyes, but also move my head forward and make sure that I don’t blink. There is also a slightly sly smile on my face as I do this. I find some pathological pleasure in their tangible discomfort.

It doesn’t happen often, but it does once in a while — when I meet a person who can maintain eye contact and return the stare. There is some deep understanding between us at once. And there is a special technique that we both have learned through previous attempts. I look at the eyes of another person, lowering my sight (just slightly so) to a lower eyelid, while that person looks me in the eye while keeping her sight up (just slightly so) to my upper eyelid. That is the best. We both can maintain mutual understanding and closeness of eye contact without troubling and potentially exhausting intimacy.

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footsteps of the Furies

footsteps of the Furies

“for they knew what sort of noise it was; they recognize, by now, the footsteps of the Furies”. Enjoying life on the road to recovery. Observing and writing.