If everyone walked in the same direction all the time, as only makes sense, this wouldn’t be an issue. However, fact is that there are troublemakers out there who walk the wrong way, and this leads to eye contact on the street, in the mall, wherever walking happens. Eye contact with a stranger. My dear god. I need a moment, excuse me….
*takes a swig from a flask, shudders*
Now, my preferred solution is to sic my cyborg wombat on them (I call her the Womborg, and she’s really just a big sweetie). Most people just pretend to look at their cellphone in this situation, though. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s simple, it works.
Come on, seriously. Doing what everyone else does — are you a robot, a sheep, or a robot sheep? No! You must stand up and say, “I am a MAN!” Or “I am a WOMAN!” Or “I am OF INDETERMINATE GENDER BUT AM STILL A VALID HUMAN BEING!” So, in the interest of more varied self-expression, let me offer some suggestions on interesting ways to avoid eye contact while not appearing impolite. These have a certain dramatic panache that elevate social awkwardness to an art.
When I first encountered one of these devilish devices, I couldn’t get free for almost two weeks before I figured out the solution: plunging my hands into a vat of acid. Now I can remember how to do it by looking at the scars. It’s the perfect way to avoid eye contact, because really, who is going to interrupt someone fighting for their very life? Horrible things, finger traps. Should be outlawed, really. But since they’re not, make them work for you. Don’t forget to stock up on acid.
Knitting is exciting to watch — I send daily letters to the International Olympic Committee, suggesting with no hint of threat whatsoever that they should add it to both the Summer and Winter Olympics. Somehow, most people don’t agree with me. So, it’s a good way to keep your eyes on your hands, as well as make yourself some nice things.
Just don’t make anything too interesting, like a machete cozy. People notice stuff like that. Freelance knitters are in high demand, too, so you may get job offers if you’re too good.
This is an advanced technique. Do NOT try if you are not ready. If you have the heart of a beast it takes to pull this off, read on.
Surely you’ve seen those street performers that paint themselves to look like statues, or at least have heard of them? Or perhaps you belong to their shadow organization that pulls the strings of all the puppet governments (all of the governments)? You didn’t hear that from me. Anyway, just do like they do, except don’t have a cup or hat for tips. That’s a dead giveaway. Also, since you will have to freeze whenever you see someone, this isn’t recommended if you are in a hurry to get somewhere.
What’s that? Oh, do you think it’s easy, being a statue? Try it. Freeze right now. Don’t give me that weak “freeze tag” freeze, you maggot. If you’re going to do this, you need to be so convincing a pigeon will land on you and take a crap. If you’re not covered in pigeon excrement, sir or madam, then you are failing!
Talk to the voices
I know, I know, you’ve spent years learning to behave like the voices aren’t there. Your facial expression doesn’t even twitch when they whisper their inscrutable secrets, or urge you to perform those dark, thrilling acts. Why acknowledge them now? Because damn it, they take up room in your mind rent-free. Time they earned their keep. This works on two levels: 1) It will scare away those who have not the gift of True Hearing; and 2) Those who do have the Gift won’t interrupt your conversation because that’s a breach of etiquette.
I suppose you could do this with a friend instead of the voices, but my research hasn’t told me where to find one of those, so I can’t help you. *wipes away lonely tears*