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By this, I don't mean the quantitative science that I've never been much good at by default of struggling with algebra. I'm referring to the elusive quality of two individual's interactions. It is not something that can be predetermined. Reference requests or reviews can present a rough sketch of how an anticipated interaction may unfold but the sketch remains to be fixed when the interaction actually takes place. In some duos, there are giggles. In other duos, there is a mutual exchange of smiles. In yet other duos, there are many moments of comfortable silence. The chemistry is difficult to foretell.

I tend to go in without expectations. Most interactions turn out well as I hope with the utmost sincerity but there are still surprises to be had. How the interaction unfolds, the degree of greatness of the metaphorical fireworks that ensue are all a surprise. When I was younger, I would be disappointed frequently because what I envisioned in my mind of a forthcoming experience was so different than what it turned out to be when the fantasy and anticipation materialized into reality. That's why I've since stopped over-fantasizing and having high expectations for things to come. Or at the very least, I try to tame what I dream while I am awake.

Still, I experience a similar disorient with photos. How I expect something is always the way it presents itself to me. Some people look drastically different in person than they do in a photograph. I've encountered several disorienting instances like this, where the person in the photo is clearly the person before me yet the look between the photo and what is before me is so different. Maybe it's because a photo captures a snapshot of a person's essence but only a meeting can capture a person's essence more wholesomely.

I imagine that many people experience this sort of difference between the imagined and the non-imagined and the disorient it produces. How you imagine a experience may be different from how it unfolds. How you imagine a person to look right before you is different from how they look in their photos. The experience is objectively the same, in your mind and outside of it. The object before you is objectively the same, in the photos and before you. Yet, your orientation is different. So your processing of it is different.

To avoid the disorientation or the disappointment, I go in without expectations, almost on a whim. It's worked thus far for me. I hope that it's also worked for those who have beckoned me. Let the chemistry unfold as it will. Even without the algebra, it's a tricky thing. I'm nearly tempted to compare it to baking but even that comparison would be closer to algebra than it would to the indefinite science of human interaction.

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