I am doing something I have literally done millions of times: I am chewing.
You would think I'd have mastered this by now.
Yet for reasons I cannot comprehend, while eating a meal not unlike any other meal on any other day, I bite down on the side of my cheek, hard. The pain is instantaneous, my face cringes, and I taste blood.
I have bitten the inside of my own face.
I am in pain. I did it to myself. There is nothing I can do about it. Classic disempowerment.
How this happens is a complete mystery. If I leave my windows down during a rainstorm and soak the interior of my car, I will make damn sure the windows are up next time. If I burn my mouth on a hot beverage, I will be sure to blow on it first in the future. I will adapt based on incoming information. Having to deal with a soaked car interior or burned mouth will teach me something. Biting the side of my cheek, however, is one of these experiences that cannot be adjusted for, and not being able to adjust things that hurt so they will be less likely to happen again in the future is disempowering.
This sets the stage for further disempowerment: I know that a jagged sore will jut forth from my cheek towards the vacuum where my teeth will come together during future chewing. Not only have I disempowered myself by mutilating the inside of my cheek, but I have also set myself up to repeat the experience. Now I have to be careful when chewing, something that in my bovine-like way, I am not used to paying attention to at all, making it all the more likely that I will forget after the second or third bite.
And, it is very, very likely that I will come down again on an already sore and swollen lump of my own meaty flesh, causing even more pain than the initial disempowering experience, and setting it up to happen again. I have created a disempowerment cycle.
Thanks, I'll just have a smoothie.
Yes, another one.
Yes well, I bite the shit out of the inside of my cheek and I can't be trusted not to do it again.
No, I don't know how it happened. I just know that it did, and it keeps happening.
Yes. It is too bad.