Late yesterday afternoon, East Nashville resident Gregg Pardon experienced a markedly unpleasant tingling sensation deep in his gut, which he tentatively believes to have been a feeling.
"I can't verify 100 percent," stated Pardon, "but based on some stuff I've read - oh, and this old Kris Kristofferson tune I heard the other day - I'm pretty sure it was what's known as a feeling." He shook his head. "Or is it emotion? I always get those two confused."
Pardon said that initially, when the sensation in his lower abdomen first hit him, he had no idea what to make of it. But by thinking back and mentally retracing his steps, he was able to identify the likely source of the uncomfortable stomach twinge.
"I remembered that that morning, on my way to work, I was sitting in my warm car blasting the stereo, waiting for the stoplight to change. And outside was this homeless guy in the freezing cold, cheerfully running up and down the street selling newspapers, like he was the happiest dude on the planet."
Pardon did his best to avoid eye contact, and did not purchase a paper. "But even so, the guy flashed me a smile and gave me this enthusiastic thumbs-up."
Smiling slightly at the memory, he added, "Yeah, the 'feeling' didn't hit me 'til later, but I think it was that guy. East Nashville is gritty, man - you can't look away."
What did Pardon ultimately take from his unexpected encounter with what, by all indications, appears to have been a verifiable, bona fide feeling?
"I definitely appreciate the experience," he stated. "I'd say it's given me real emotional intelligence, and the value of that can't be discounted." He nodded definitively. "Facing your feelings is no joke, and, well, I faced this one head-on. I feel good about that."
That being said, Parker noted that, based on his experience, he has concluded that he is not a fan of feelings in general and will be doing his best to avoid them in the future - even if that means going slightly out of his way.
With a wry half-grin, he added, "I'll be driving a different way to work, if you catch my drift."