You know, that scratchy, dissonant noise that appears when you flip to a channel and it's not working?
It feels like that.
Coincidentally, I’m wearing a comfy salt and pepper sweater as I write this piece and it kind of looks like TV static and that’s kinda funny. I think intuition, or a lack thereof, can be kind of funny, too. Not a “HAHA this is hilarious” kind of funny, but more of a “haha, life is so painful but I have to laugh or else I fear I won’t be able to breathe” kind of funny. That’s actually not funny. I don’t know. I guess it depends on how dark your humor is.
I’ve felt both.
Like, when I was laying in bed this May thinking of how my dad would respond when I finally told him that I was sexually assaulted as a child. I thought, “He’ll either be so mad that he tries to hurt the guy or he’ll think I’m lying and not care. Both are bad, so I really can’t know how he’ll respond.” He responded the latter, and I wish my intuition hadn’t failed me then. I wish I had naturally known what his response would be so I could spare myself the anguish. That was definitely a “haha, life is so painful but I have to laugh or else I fear I won’t be able to breathe” kind of funny. And my humor isn’t really dark, so it actually wasn’t funny.
The “HAHA this is hilarious” reaction happens during more insignificant moments such as when I’m back home in New York City and know I’ll see at least three guys manspreading their legs on the subway or when I reflect back on moments from my past where I inadvertently went against my instinct. I often think back to my elementary school days where I knew my crushes didn’t like me but I still sent them a piece of paper asking “Do you like me: Yes or No?” and received the paper back with “No” circled boldly. Cringeworthy? Yes. Hilarious? Also, yes. Frankly, I think those moments were my first instance in learning to trust my gut and yet, here I am still finding myself in awkward situations above my threshold for humiliation.
This is all to say that intuition, for me, is an oddity. It is stubborn, buzzing, discordant. Yet, it feels comfortable and affirming - a validation that we have the ability to understand life and the complexities it carries without conscious reasoning.
And to feel both is odd.
The more I expand on its meaning, the more complex it reveals itself to be. I think that’s intuition in its entirety. Complex. There really is no intuitive way to make sense of the word and that is somewhat unsettling, but mostly ironic since in order to make sense of intuition, we have to rely on the very thing it is not: reason.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Ama Oforiwaa is a Queens native based in Los Angeles. She enjoys writing, movies, museums, and cupcakes.