Paradoxical Undressing – Uncovered

Next up on my Uncovered series is my short story Paradoxical Undressing. This story was written a long, long time ago when I can’t even quite remember who I was completely. As I’ve grown older I’ve gone through a lot of changes and sometimes it is hard to relate back to the person I was at the time of writing some of these stories.

Paradoxical Undressing originated simply out of a random idea from way back when, that had fluttered into my head about a man being stuck in the snow, naked. That naturally led me to wonder what happens to the physical body when it is exposed to such brutal winter temperatures. So I went on a journey of discovery.Paradoxical undressing.png

I remember researching around and finding a website which explained in detail about  the reactions that the body will have when exposed to freezing temperatures, so I took that and ran with it, applying it to misadventures of the protagonist in the story.

In hindsight, it could have actually been a longer story, but I quite like the fact that it is so short in length because I think it adds to the rapid onset of the body shutting down and the character doesn’t really have a grasp on time any more.

The opposing argument one supposes is that if you were in that position of freezing to death then it would probably feel like a long, drawn out torture. Hopefully I never find myself in a position to find out myself and living in a desert environment, I probably won’t.

Uncovered insights [SPOILER ALERT]

Re-reading this story many years later I wondered  if I should keep him alive at the end. Maybe have someone show a little bit of sympathy and pull him from his torture. But then, going back to my mindset many years ago when this was written, I had a bleaker outlook on the world.

I realise now that the story is a little bit of commentary on how cold the world felt to me all that time ago, that it was uncaring, harsh and really only people would be looking out for themselves. I was living in an isolated world, where I couldn’t see much light beyond the small corner that I occupied and from such a position it is easy to grasp that no-one out there gives a hoot.

So now I see where this all came from. I understand that the people who ignore his plight is how I felt about the world back then, that people were, primarily just running on fuel of self-centeredness and wouldn’t go out of their way to help out someone who was in trouble.

I like thinking now about the question, ‘Would you have stopped to help him?’

I would like, at this point, to note that I have changed and probably would. The world is a much brighter place, less cold than the world portrayed in Paradoxical Undressing and we all need that bit of warmth.

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