creative non-fiction Curiosity

The Less You Know the Better

Molly Alessandra Cooper ponders the possibility of mind-reading in this short creative piece.

by Molly Alessandra Cooper

The knowledge that anyone is able to twist the truth – if they feel like it – can prompt us to be reserved when it comes to trusting those we have just met, and means we don’t always have total faith in those we are closest to. We have to work hard to create mutually trusting relationships. Once we’ve stopped raising an eyebrow at the occasional unlikely story, the building of relationships is so rewarding: finding out a new friend’s vulnerabilities, learning their experiences, sharing their complex sense of humour . . . it’s a journey.

But what if they are keeping things from you? We curate what comes out of our mouths and how others perceive us. What I wonder about is whether some of us know more than most. In particular, what if some people can read thoughts? What if they know the white lies we might tell about how long we stayed out last night, or how when we say ‘literally’, we don’t quite mean it quite that literally?

“What if they know the white lies we might tell about how long we stayed out last night, or how when we say ‘literally’, we don’t quite mean it quite that literally?”

If someone had this ability they of course wouldn’t be allowed to reveal their secret, they’d have to downplay their superior knowledge as a ‘feeling’ or intuition. What if all those things you have in common with your new best friend are just similarities they’ve brought up after reading your thoughts?! The idea of it is kind of exciting/magical/awful. How would we ever discover a secret like this? Maybe we don’t need to know.

I sometimes lie next to my boyfriend and try to figure out if he has a secret ability to know what I’m thinking. I look at him and think ‘twitch your nose if you can hear my thoughts’, and he twitches his nose. I put it down to coincidence, there’s no way he can hear my brain. Although, maybe he’s double bluffing? If he can read my thoughts – all the time – he wouldn’t give it away so easily, and he knows I’d know that. Other times, I go a step further to provoke a reaction by thinking the meanest thoughts I can about him. He doesn’t react – I guess with a secret that big, he’s built some resilience. Eventually, he will turn his head and slowly open his eyes, one at a time, ‘Please stop watching me. It’s really creepy.’ I think that’s fair enough, give up on my mission to find evidence for his unique skill and go to sleep. Until next time.


Molly Alessandra Cooper | @Mollyalessandra | Instagram

Molly Alessandra Cooper is a photography graduate who is more interested in learning, yoga, life drawing and glitter.

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