The conversation in the other room

When you don’t speak the lingua franca, then there’s always the feeling that people are talking about you. Constantly. They’re talking about something, what could it be? Well, they all know that you can’t make out a word they’re talking about. You can hear the sounds, and logic dictates that they’re about anything but you. But you’re already in a sensitized state. You’re needlessly paranoid. What if … what if … the topic of the conversation …

Surely it must be you.

It’s what I call ‘the conversation in the other room.’ You’re sitting in your room alone. The walls are thin. Overhead, a fly moves in vaguely circular motion. There’s a conversation in the next room. Probably it’s a hotel room. You’re sure the subject of the conversation is yourself.

Paranoia strikes the lonely.

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