Intro: Pounding bass note and a stirring fanfare of horns. Welcome to another edition of Things to Think about. Here's Stacy. The horns continue with a keyboard note held.
Relaxing piano music is in the background.
Welcome to the Things to Think About podcast, where we use fables and fairy tales to uncover deeper truths about our subconscious world. I'm Stacy Casson, and today's story explores the un-versations we have in our head. We will dive into the idea of how we interpret the world in a tale I call “The Interpreter.” And now, get comfortable and relax. Take a deep breath in. And exhale. A deep breath in and exhale. A deep breath in and exhale. And if you'd like, you can slowly close your eyes.
Once upon a time, there was an unreliable interpreter. It accompanied a person constantly explaining and providing meaning to the things they encountered in life. We’ll call that person Biko. Most of the time, the interpreter gave accurate insight into situations. That person who kept invading Biko’s personal space indeed had nefarious intentions. The one who borrowed twenty dollars did turn out to be trustworthy. When the boss said, “No rush,” the interpreter correctly urged Biko to hurry and make it a priority. Biko and the interpreter preferred their own company and spent most of their time in solitude. The interpreter had a powerful imagination, and in the absence of social activity, it grew more creative when interpreting.
Biko began to travel more, increasing the interpreter’s workload. The interpretations became more sophisticated. When the receptionist greeted Biko, the interpreter conveyed all the hidden undertows. The receptionist said, “Hello, Biko,” and the interpreter translated it as, “Oh, someone finally decided to come to the office today.” Biko responded with a curt hello, and the receptionist wondered if they were late for a meeting. Typically, they would exchange tidbits about their respective weekends. When Biko’s manager asked them to come in for a quick chat, the interpreter told Biko that the boss was taking advantage of Biko’s work ethic. Due to the misinterpretation, Biko could not see the project assignment as a fortuitous opportunity to get promoted.
The interpretations became increasingly bizarre. That cute colleague in accounting wasn’t really interested; they were only being polite. The interpreter warned Biko against Happy Hour; “they want you to make a fool of yourself during karaoke.” Biko became more and more miserable. Even the reflection in the mirror turned against Biko. Thankfully the interpreter spoke the honest truth. Biko knew their nose was enormous, and they dressed like a loser. It was a fact that nobody really wanted Biko around and just tolerated having them around since they did all the work. Yes, everyone else slacked off while Biko picked up their slack. It was getting to be too much. One of Biko’s colleagues pulled them aside one day. “Biko, are you okay? You seem really angry and haven’t been yourself.” “Oh, spare me the act! You can’t wait for this project to fail so you can swoop in and take my promotion,” Biko seethed. Thankfully, Biko’s friend had stopped relying on an interpreter years ago and remained calm. “Biko,” they said gently, “Do you really think I would do that to you?” The interpreter was screaming now, “Don’t trust them! It’s a lie! It’s a trick! You are nothing, Biko. Everyone knows you are a pathetic loser.” Biko didn’t know what to believe. “I don’t know; I need to think.” Biko walked away from their concerned friend.
“Could I be wrong?” Biko asked themselves. “What if I was my friend and looking at my life?” The interpreter started in, and Biko silenced them. Yes, the project was behind, but when Biko had explained the issue, the manager advocated for an extension. That didn’t sound like someone hoping for failure. “I have been so unhappy; maybe it’s messing with my judgment.” Biko returned to the office and found the friend. “Do you have a minute?” Biko asked the friend. “Of course.” “I think I owe you an apology. You have always supported me, and you did not deserve those accusations. I am not okay.” “Interpreter?” the friend responded. Biko was shocked. “Yes, I had a voice in my head telling me all sorts of things that were not true,” the friend continued. “I think the interpreter works like a parasite and fools your system until it gets embedded. There is no easy cure since it is a part of you. I question everything, and even though it feels weird, I repeat back what I hear. If it’s too wild, I ask a question to clarify. I got you.” The interpreter was riled up and hissing viciously in Biko’s ear. Biko ignored it and said, “What I heard was you were worried about me and here if I needed help. Is that right?” Be careful; there is an out-of-work interpreter. Will you hire it?
And now, you can take a deep breath and exhale. Deep breath in and exhale. Deep breath in and exhale. If you are enjoying this podcast, please subscribe and tell a friend.
Closing: Closing jazzy keyboard and thrumming bass. I hope you enjoyed today's segment. Tell a friend. See you next time. Music fades. "