Wednesday, April 2, 2008

They hate being alone.

You'd see it if you watched us from above. If you received the globe in a glass to sit on your shelf. We'd be interesting for a week, maybe less. You'd say: "I get it, they hate being alone." Sure, at first glance we looked quite dynamic: we're different heights, we have lots of different rules about how to eat and some of us ride other animals. But on a rainy day, if you stared at us long enough you'd realize it's billions of variations on the same theme. They hate being alone.

Even their stories, which are allowed to be anything, are about loneliness. There's this one story about these people that rob a bank and they're being hunted by an old friend-turned-bounty-hunter. Also, they all ride animals. Anyway, there's a big shootout where they kill the Mexican army and everyone is dead except the old friend-turned-bounty-hunter who got there late and feels very lonely. I know you could have predicted that.

They dream about loneliness encoded in images like live snake bracelets and hopping across the ocean on the rooftops of lilypad cars. You watched us at night and exclaimed: "don't they take a break?" You'd torture us with a magnifying glass -anything to save us from our monotonous lives.

The history of their species haunts them: survival by working together. The curse of the community. Courting each other's acceptance, risking rejection. Second-guessing a thousand accidental gestures. She touched my arm, his laughter stopped abruptly, she didn't blink, he asked me to repeat myself -what did it all mean? They hold the antidote for each other but they all suspect it's poison. A hilarious premise, a tired joke they continue to tell.

They try to accumulate love points without risking their own stash. In their darkest hour they lie, bully, intimidate, manipulate, demonize. No one really dislikes anyone else. But they try. they try to create undertows to draw their sweethearts closer by pushing others away. They hate being alone that much. They'll tear their friends apart in order to feel that they're touching someone. It was exciting the first time you saw it. Now, it's exhausting. It makes you want to shake the globe and yell at us. That's what thunder is, children. Someone is bored with us and is shaking the globe.

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