While the person doing it might think they are “conscious” of their thought processes, the odds are very much more likely that they are not.
Like an ant riding on a stick floating down a stream, the thinker might hold the erroneously belief they are the captain of the ship. In reality, the stick is beholding to every stray current, random puff of wind, finning fish and throbbing branch but not the ant.
The ant maintains the comforting illusion of control by knitting a retrospective narrative where every bob-and-weave was commanded by the Captain.
A few parts per billion of our first-love’s favorite fragrance, a strand of melody from our youth, the tiniest whiff of a pheromone, a partially-heard hurtful word or the mask on another person’s face slipping for a few, unguarded milliseconds...all of these can deflect the trajectory of our thoughts as surely as the side of a pool table deflects the cue-ball.
And so it is with thought. Many, perhaps most, of the factors that guide the avalanche of our thoughts are in a “machine language” that is not accessible to the menu-driven, pull-down-list functions of “conscious thought”.
Alyssa was ovulating.
Bert’s soul had been aimlessly wandering in a trackless wasteland. And then, in the space of a few heartbeats the featureless, smoldering cinders were dominated by something new, something with the solidity of a medieval castle, something that sprung fully-formed out of nothing.
Bert’s mental trajectory ricocheted like a sleep-walker plowing into the edge of a door that had never before been left open.
Bert had a mission.
One second he was thinking about the handgun in the glove-box of his car and then an instant later he was fully committed to seeing that NOBODY dare hurt this vulnerable woman-child. Ever.
Bert glared at the hooligans rattling the door handle. He flipped them the bird. His finger looked as big as a banana in his yellow, work glove.
Alyssa dug her fingers into his shoulders.
“My GOD!” she thought. “He isn’t a roly-poly teddy-bear. He is a grizzly bear.”
His deltoids felt like cinder-blocks beneath his work coat.
Coming up for air, she turned and saw the hooligans had departed for healthier climes.
She pushed him back. “Here, put these on” she told him as she reached into her backpack for the hoodie and hat.
Bert did not argue
Lonnie Keonig was fed-up with the highly limiting rules-of-engagement.
He didn't intend to use his bayonet on the young man tip-toeing through the tangle-foot. Lonnie was 78 years-old and way too old for that shit. What could they do to him?
At fifteen feet he could not miss with his Springfield, Model 1903. The softpoint hit the aggressor precisely between his nipples, turned the aggressor's lungs to chocolate mousse before shattering Th8 and Th9 vertebrae and then severing the aggressor's spinal cord.
Norm Kudha, forty feet to Lonnie's south reached the same conclusion a split second after Lonnie did. His shot was an inch higher and crushed the Th8 and cut the strings holding the man up.
The smartphones recording the video were in magnification mode. The aggressors appeared to be within five feet of the two old men when they discharged their weapons.
Gary played both streams on his channel.
Don't trifle with old men. They have nothing to lose.
The rioter was perched at the top of the 8-strand fence with one leg on the defender's side and the other on the rioter's side.
His drug-addled mind was slow in processing what he saw.
Ethan had told the group that the defenders would be shooting blanks.
Something about how his two, slightly-faster peers collapsed gave lie to that information.
The slight hesitation was all it took for the water-cannon to find him and send him cartwheeling back into the crowd.
Old man McCorkle was nobody's fool.
The lights from the chopper were annoying but he just yanked the bill of his Detroit Tigers baseball hat down over his eyes.
The crowd was so tightly packed coming through the gap in the tanglefoot that even the full pressure of the water-cannon on the closest rioter was not sufficient to push them back.
So he pointed the cannon higher and started peeling them off the back of the crowd. As effective as the cannon was when hitting rioters in the chest, it was five times more-so when hitting them in the face. Truth be told, it is possible that a few necks were snapped in the process.
McCorkle didn't care. Nobody told them they had to come to HIS neighborhood and burn down HIS house. FAAFO.
The infiltraters from the west were busted flat.
The only way they could cross the wind-scoured, concrete pad was if nobody was looking for them.
Vince and I were shooting prone from our position and another team positioned closer to the high school were adding pressure.
Good optics, a steady rest, adequate technique and a great trigger will always beat volume-of-fire when the battle starts at a distance. Gregious's team was pinned down with no forseeable exit.
Reinforcements started to pour into the rioter's ranks as the first wave of men pulling wagons full of munitions arrived from Lahoma Street.