To command, demand, or passively-aggressively ask, is to exert control that may or may not be fulfilled. To have self-control is commonly thought of as a boon. While it very well may be a character flaw, having someone else control, no matter how valid their intentions are, is detrimental.
Usurpation of autonomy stirs up the rebel response, or the need to oppose. Herein lies two modes of opposition: the right and the wrong.
You could oppose with good reason, like having a premeditated intent, or you could oppose for the sake of spiting the controller. I find myself tethered to both the good and the bad. That is to say, my intent inevitably spites the controller. There is a contradiction here and it is such that I cannot classify my control as anything but an innate right to assert one’s self. To assert myself.
Beware of being controlled by your subject, my thesis adviser warned me prior to outlining my brainchild for me. I had lost my control, or so I thought. Truth is, I wanted to be dismissed as soon as possible, to take the three train, bus ride, and walk home a week before classes would again resume.Yes sir. Indeed. I’ll have you call me some days later just so I can definitively assert my control. Let’s replace “autonomy” with “wiggle room,” and there you have it.
Put that license into use and drive, I’m told. After researching the route I would have to take and having, of late, experienced weather-induced house arrest, I decided that driving would not replace my miles long walks but instead enable to me to make up for the missed cardio such that I could transport myself to an indoor recreational activity.
Before traipsing down the stairs, I make sure to slide out my clear of face photo ID taken that was taken before I went to college almost seven years ago. In the photo my hair is naturally curly and in a side ponytail. At the time I was wearing a V-neck t-shirt over a black crew neck so as to preserve the modesty of hardly exposed collar bones. That was my decision.
Now, I prance into the car, collar bones on full display: a simultaneous extroverted pat on the back and reminder of things that may be lost, or rather covered, underneath a newly formed layer of lipids acquired under the careful gaze of a compatriot’s care, or what I consider, a competitors’ scorn.
Yesterday my face dropped beyond the potency of your everyday gravitational force. The creases in my skin deepened further so that the shadows of the lit living room, in an attempt to resist the darkness of evening, made for me having a very unsightly look, I’m sure. The contours of my face had evolved into a harrowed, pudgy mess. My cupid’s bow seemed carved into a permanent battle scar. My will to balance weight around my expanding waist had been drawn out. My will to the undo salt consumption with sweet nothingness was canceled out. My coffee consumption this morning is circulating endlessly making for a nauseous swirl of fuel burned on intellectual boredom.
Still, I am in control. Laptop out, phone battery preserved for a necessary walk to be taken after the three train and one bus ride home: Repeat.
I’m imagining reading through a magazine that I’d like to write for in the future, distraught at the fact that I cannot imagine it into existence, but proud of such an exhibition of control. I’m choosing not to spend money on so transient a possession.
Control and clarity are constants and they are contradictions. They’re constants that are constantly being sought. Is the alliteration a coincidence? Not necessarily. It takes a level of control.