I thought I’d write a writer’s block post like everyone else does when they have writer’s block. Why do I have a block? Because of the imaginary little man in my head who criticizes and humiliates me. Based on a true, pathetic story, a real TL;DR. If I ever get to meet God, the first question I am going to ask is, “So what the hell was wrong with me that whole time?”
If I were to confront my Emotion, when I close my eyes and feel, I know I’d find her in my upper chest somewhere. So I head there first. “Hey,” I’d ask. “Why’d you let them get in your head so badly?”
“How should I know?” she answers. “They were mean! They hurt my feelings! They made me go home and cry! They fucked me up!”
“Well, okay, but how did they fuck you up?” I press her.
“I don’t know!” she insists. “I just am!”
Well, maybe you are, I muse to myself… Maybe you are. “Then there’s nothing we can do,” I say out loud.
“But what about you?!” she cries. “You’re just as guilty as I am! More! You stand here, being all ‘calm’ and probing and blaming me, when you had plenty of chances to make a choice! I’m just fucked up, remember! I’m just a big oversensitive fucked up bitch!”
“Hmm,” I mumble, “Can’t argue with that.”
“See! You’re just like them! Why don’t you just leave me alone and go bother your so-called ‘Reason’? I’m just here bothering no one! Leave me to my own fucked up life!”
“Alright, alright…” I keep mumbling. “Alright, I’ll go ask her.”
“Good! And tell Mommy I want McDonalds!” she yells, and goes back to playing a video game while she waits to start a fight with someone later after a nice healthy cocktail of quarter-pounder-with-cheese and estrogen.
I head upstairs. Reason and Free Will are sitting on their little thrones stationed in the sinus cavities above my eyebrows. It’s where I get a headache when I think too hard. I know before I go in that it’s a complete waste of time with them. Emotion didn’t tell me, though I’ve already guessed it, that she and Reason connive behind my back all the time, and they don’t tell me or Free Will what they’ve been up to. Reason just mindlessly regurgitates all the crap Emotion told her. And yup, there she is, on the phone.
“Uh, Reason?” I say.
Reason covers the phone with her hand. “Yes, give me five minutes.”
Ok forget it. I’ll bypass Reason and speak directly to Free Will. Just like I was afraid of, she’s been so browbeaten by Reason—who’s been brainwashed by Emotion for years—that she doesn’t believe in agency at all anymore. She just tells me, “I can’t help you. My hands are tied.”
“What the hell!” I ask. “Aren’t you Free Will? How the hell are your hands tied? Isn’t it your job not to be tied up?”
She shakes her head, makes a small sad smile. “Oh, no,” she says. “We know that’s just a myth now. Religion tried it for years, tried to tell us it’s all our fault and we could change on a dime if we really wanted to. And then here come the philosophers to save us! Ha! ‘Pure Reason,’ my ass! Look at her over there! Eats whatever Emotion feeds her and then shits it out as her own as though she came up with it herself. And she’s supposed to help me make a decision? But really, am I even in a position to argue? Look what I’m up against. The two of them. Hormones. Cholesterol. Chemicals. Free radicals. Not to mention society. Money. Junk food. And the Gut! Ha! The Gut. It’s the Gut that’s at the bottom of it all. Well, science is exposing their whole operation now. ‘Oh, we’re just digesting. Oh, all we make is poop. And tell you when someone is lying to you. That’s all, really.’ Yeah, that’s all. They only control, oh, well, everything.”
I just nod. Things weren’t looking good for us, after all.
Free Will agreed. “Yes, you see? Our hands are tied.”
“So you’re saying,” I say slowly, “you’re saying, nothing I do is my responsibility?”
“I’m afraid so.”
“So in other words, I can do whatever I want and not have to feel bad?”
“Well, pretty much.”
“But what about my Gut? Couldn’t I be blamed for not eating better?”
Free Will shook her head and waved her hand. “Eh. If someone says anything, tell them it’s Genetics.”
(Judging by the comments, I love how no one read past the first two lines. 👍 I’ll remember that next time I read your blog.)