Paranoia’s Pleasures

Zoë Hu at The Believer:

I am a paranoid person, which, if we’re not going to be fussy about clinical definitions, means I feel a constant unreasonable fear, one ruled by no overarching logic or taxonomy. I am paranoid about my relationships and my work. I am paranoid about rising sea levels, air pollutants, tap water, dark parking lots, and the back seat of my car. I am paranoid about whether I’ve locked the door—really, properly locked the door. I experience frequent bouts of paranoia in regards to the men in my life—what do they get up to when I’m not around?—as well as to many men I do not know. I realize I don’t look like the paranoid type, which is culturally coded as someone white and male, so I am also paranoid about other paranoiacs, what they make of my face and my monosyllabic last name.

In other words, I am fixated on what I must regularly confront yet cannot control. It is a very human condition, if not the human condition. Philip K. Dick once said that “the ultimate in paranoia is not when everyone is against you but when everything is against you.” 

more here.