Cappie Minivox and Math Class

There’s a little voice in my head that keeps me safe. It is a reactionary voice that makes such instant judgment calls as “This is bullshit,” “They’re trying to screw you out of something,” and “Don’t mess this up like those other things you messed up.”

If this voice were personified as a fellow human being, his name would be Caput Minivox. Cappie, to his friends. Not that he really has “friends” in the strictest sense of the word.

Cappie is a bit of a loud mouth. He shouts so loud that it’s often hard to hear other voices over his.

“Shut up, shut up, I’m talking,” he says.

And then when he’s done talking and someone else starts talking, he’s interjects, “Shut up, shut up, I’m not done talking.”

He can be a bit of a jerk sometimes… Most times… All the time. He’s got some kind of a complex. I’m not sure if it’s an inferiority complex or a superiority complex or mother issues or father issues or trust issues or mortality issues or intimacy issues or if it’s some kind of lymphatic imbalance. Suffice to say, the dude is not cool. He’s like a jaded 5-year-old in the body of a however-old-I-am-year-old.

Cappie is always trying to undermine people. He’s completely blind to intention. He can’t see past immediate concerns. He has no sense of a bigger picture. No sense of the future.

It’s difficult for Cappie to lose first impressions. Cause that would mean changing his point-of-view. And he’s stuck in this singular point-of-view – the point-of-view he’s always had. The dude is overwhelmed with fear in that regard. A fear of change.

Once, while traveling across the San Jacinto Mountains in Southern California, I stopped at a vantage point rest stop to admire the topography. Also parked there was a dark beat-up van, its roof covered with an array of a dozen satellite dishes pointing off in all directions. When asked what they were doing, one of the two scruffy guys inside replied, “We’re listening.”

Cappie is crazier than those guys, okay.

Cappie would come to the same assumption that there’s an answer to some cosmic question floating around out there in the ether that some secret conclave of immoral intelligentsia is keeping from him. However, Cappie would not get a van and cover it with satellite dishes. He would simply assume there’s no point in listening because there’s nothing that can be done about it – everything has already been decided for him.

Cappie is one of those cynical conspiracy buffs. He says, “Of course,” a lot. For instance, “Of course Oswald was drinking a soda in the lunch room at 12:30pm. What are you – stupid?”

Cappie reminds me of this math teacher I had in the tenth grade, Mr. Reid. He was tall, wore fake eyebrows and called this one recently-immigrated kid “stupid” whenever he got a question wrong. Reid always seemed to have this really negative demeanor. As if we were to supposed to feel blessed that he had lowered himself to teach math to fifteen-year-old’s and, at the same time, permit him to feel resentful towards us because we were the cause of all his educational woes. I didn’t learn much from Reid, other than “don’t make fun of immigrants.”

I hold Cappie at arm’s length now. He used to show up drunk on my doorstep at 3am, wanting to stay up all night bitching about something. I eventually had to give him the boot. And ever since then, I don’t see him as often. He’ll always be in my life, but at least now, he knows not to fuck with me.

Monday. Math class.

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