Alexander Fufaev
My name is Alexander FufaeV and here I write about:

November 7, 2023: I have 2 underpants instead of 3 and the ability to shake off thoughts

November 7, 2023. I'm not sure when I woke up today, but judging by the feeling and the color of the sky, it was definitely not after 9 o'clock.

I lay there for a while and noticed that as soon as I opened my eyes, my thoughts immediately started to wander. Suddenly, I thought about yesterday's conversations about sex and realized how I continued them in my mind or imagined how I could have said a sentence better or made a joke in this or that situation. This behavior of replaying a past situation and continuing to spin it in my mind or alter it was very typical for me. I've only recently become aware of this way of thinking. And I'm not sure if it's good. I don't think so, especially because I find it difficult to control these thoughts. At the very least, I need to learn to shut them off and be present in the here and now.

I smelled under my armpits and was amazed that they were not odorless but smelled slightly sweet. It smelled as if I had showered with a sweet perfume. I couldn't stop smelling my armpits. I was confused. How could this be? Maybe because last night I had salad with walnuts, tomatoes, and radishes? I suspected it was more likely because I had slept shirtless, or at least it had greatly contributed to not smelling of sweat.

In the bathroom, I hesitated to rub baking soda under my armpits because I didn't want to get rid of this great smell. But as a precaution, I did it anyway because if today a sweet student sits in front of me in the library, I will sweat and probably smell. So I smeared baking soda under my armpits after all.

Then I packed my lunch into my backpack without looking at the clock and walked relaxedly to the bus stop. That's the beauty of not looking at the clock. Before, I would have checked the time and thought, "Oh, crap. The bus is leaving in a minute." Then I would have hurried and unnecessarily stressed myself out. Not looking at the clock in the morning was one of the most stress-free decisions ever. I didn't realize that this seemingly minor change of "looking at the clock less" would make my life so much easier.

There were only two people at the bus stop. Too few to say that the bus was coming soon. But then a bus arrived. Not the one I was supposed to take. The two got on, and I just continued walking along the bus route. Occasionally, I looked around to see if the bus was following me. Shortly before the Kopernikusstraße stop, I actually saw it, and with a slightly increased pace, I reached the stop just in time to board the bus.

The library was still very empty today. It must still be very early. A glance at the large clock in the foyer showed 8:32 a.m.

At half past nine, I went to have coffee. But this time, it would be a different kind of coffee. As I drink my coffee, I will make an effort to be in the here and now. Thoughts kept popping into my head as I walked down the stairs. I shook my head as if to dispel these thoughts and returned to the present moment, actively observing the stairs and my descent. Then, another thought crept in subtly, and I caught this drifting only after a slight delay. I shook my head again and returned to the present. Even while leaning against a table, drinking my coffee, I kept drifting away from the now. Each time, I brought myself back to the present moment.

Suddenly, I saw someone approaching me with a grin. It was Robert. He hadn't expected to see me here. He had just had coffee and something to eat at Bäcker Göing. I suggested he should get coffee at HanoMacke instead, where he could save money and the coffee tasted good.

»I enjoy my coffee here almost every morning,« I replied, as Robert wondered what I was doing on campus so early.

I also complimented him on his jacket. It looked warm. He thanked me and said he had had it for a long time.

»I'll see if I can make it to the fourth floor,« he replied when I told him I was on the fourth floor.

»Sure, as you wish,« I said, and he entered the library.

After that, I continued with the head shaking. I resolved to regularly shake off my thoughts from now on while drinking coffee, waiting for the bus, standing at the checkout, or walking through the city. It dawned on me that this ability to be in the present moment at the push of a button would be very helpful in being able to listen better to others. Even when I talk to other people, these thoughts are constantly running through my head.

Back in the library, I was deeply engrossed in writing my life story when suddenly someone approached my table. I looked up. It was a student I had never seen here before. With a serious expression and nerdy glasses on her nose, she sat down at the table and frantically pulled out her laptop and tablet. Unfortunately, she was not my type at all, looking so serious and chubby. Her laptop was covered in feminist, leftist stickers: »antifaschistische aktion«, »be slut do whatever you want«, »gender roles are dead«.

A short while later, two more brunette girls came and sat down to my right at my table. They smiled at me, which significantly boosted my sympathy towards them.

When I returned to the library around 1 PM after a short break, the two brunette students were gone. An Arab-looking man sat down right next to me. I was very confused because there were other seats available at the table. Why so close to me? Then Luisa came to the table, which also surprised me. She had never sat at my table before. It was obvious they knew each other. At first, I thought Luisa was ignoring me because I looked at her to say hello. But she didn't look at me. Eventually, she noticed me and greeted me with a smile.

Robert called me and asked if I wanted to take a break with him. Unfortunately, I had just taken one. But he didn't mind.

I was in the library until 3 PM, then I had a coffee and went to the DENNS organic market to do some shopping. I was surprised to find organic ready meals in glass jars here. I bought two mini cucumbers, a bell pepper, and a ready-made curry dal in a jar. The whole thing cost me a little over five euros. Expensive compared to the discount store, but I was still happy to belong to the group of non-SUV-driving organic market customers today.

At home, I checked the smell of my new merino socks. They were still completely odorless. And the washed pair on the heater was already dry. I was simply delighted with these socks. The investment in high-quality merino socks had paid off.

While washing my socks and underwear, I realized that I could manage quite well with just two pairs of underwear. So, I decided to reduce my three pairs of underwear to two. From today on, I will live with only two pairs of underwear.

I also wondered: Do detergent residues on my clothes and bed linens harm my skin microbiome? And if I don't use any detergent at all, does the clothing harm the microbiome? I researched but didn't find an answer. I made a note to think about it later.

I sat in front of my laptop until midnight reading testimonials about laser eye surgery. I decided to schedule a consultation appointment.

Learning: I should learn to regularly free myself from unnecessary thoughts. Learn to be in the present moment. I hope this will lead to better listening and enjoying the present moment.

Micro Change: Reduced number of underwear from 3 to 2.