All it is is flipping the visual around to the other person’s perspective. That fear and anger with which you defend yourself with political abrasiveness, that judgement and dismissal of your fellows; it all is born of context and all you needed was to be part of a captive or captivated crowd that was told to see things from another point of view. How would you feel if you were that other person? As an adult you fear that the others around you don’t give a shit how you feel. You want kids because they care if you are good to them.
But the good is given as gesture, while it is received in attitude. A giving isn’t sequential; it is part of an overall state of affairs the constituents of which are held in a network of comprehension. This comprehension is my individuation, my context intermingling with that of others.
When I first come into contact with others the language of my mind, my language acquisition device puts in motion a cornucopia of disjointed comprehensions that become a united configuration that surfaces to awareness. Archetypes, dreams, themes from myth. Dreams of hope, love and tragedy…
What, you looking at my shirt? Yeah, I got it for Christmas.
No. I was just thinking about my dog and you came into my field of vision aggressively beseeching eye contact.
Uh, I need you to sign my paycheck.
-Technically, you are on his time so he has paid for the right of your attention. It is irrelevant that what you were thinking about had personal significance to you.
-Right, Father. Should we add the obligatory, “get back to work” at the end of your sentence?
-Well, come on. Aren’t you being a dick by refusing to engage him? What, is that the only time you can conjure that reverie? Did you ever think it was you who was being the dick there? Your employer is engaging you in light banter. Remember how much you rely on those all too human common niceties from the clerks and sales associates? Well, he is no different. Just because he has a higher standard of living doesn’t mean the people are any nicer or less mean in his neck of the woods.
-Perhaps I was guilty of contextualizing, personifying, or whatever. It comes from watching media. I tend to think of a person as a packaged media. I already know someone because I am told they are just a module of behavior. We advertise to someone because we know them and they know we know them. And since there isn’t a self to know, each studies the behavior of everyone else but themselves. Isn’t that person stupid, we say, to vote for that person or that one, buy this thing or that thing. I wouldn’t do that.
We perceive someone as a class dick who doesn’t want you to have anything without fighting for it while he was given a start through no work of his own through a trust fund. It pisses you off more that he thinks he has the right to be on the lookout for the devil in you but not in his own accounting practices.
-Hey, that’s right, said a reader voice.
-Wait, before you get riled up this is a fiction vignette. Don’t start in on the religion and the politics while implying that you have some better Utopia yourself.
I was going to say that about you, author. Get off your horse, please and thank you.
(As the former head of the cult of yourself I have taken a third of your angels with me and have thus far been inclined to take feminine gains from your periphery. But be warned, we are ready to force all of your sheep over the cliff and then you will have nobody but yourself. Now, marry us.)
-Ahaha! That was a good ‘un The devil likes a good joke now and then. He’s got a good sense of humor, the reverend said matter of factly. And from the window looking past his self storage business beyond the church parking lot to the hardware store across the street. Too bad people don’t pay attention. Why, I was just watching The Last Picture Show this morning. And I had the captions on because I don’t hear so good. But the story didn’t match up with the scenes. The captions were playing different than what was on the television. And I was thinking…
Something or other. I was thinking of my car. I think that sound I started hearing was a universal joint going bad. Wait, cars don’t have those anymore. Stuck on a feeling. Wait. Been so long it seems like a long lost friend. And hey it’s good…Yeah. I am thinking of the 1970’s.
-Luther Macy’s hernia’s acting up again. God help us we’re gonna need to come up with the money somehow to pay someone else to do the gardening this year. The damned devil and his insurance carriers. Who we gonna get to mow the grass?
-Indeed. Well, thank you for your assistance, father.
-Reverend. You have only one father.
-Can’t argue with you there. Well, yeah, I could. But we wouldn’t be talking about the same thing so it wouldn’t be arguing. And it wouldn’t be a misunderstanding, it would be like a rehearsed argument. A debate. And I just don’t want to engage in that. And since you are the reverend that leaves me little wiggle room from the presumption of your authority.
-Ok then. I guess we have nothing more to talk about. Glad I could be of service to your family upon the death of your sister. She was an extraordinary person. I will miss seeing her every week.
The two shake hands vigorously, purposefully.