would like to know.
Been thinking perhaps a little too much this morning about the nature of how a lot of us use platforms like Twitter, specifically in the way we might go about crafting a punchy tweet in some way to forcibly universalize our experience. I wouldn't even say there's anything so wrong in the attempt to want to find some point of relation with anybody reading. Not in itself. But better if any instance of that was in service of understanding if it is, truly, something other people go through. I wonder how much in playing into this distinction how it becomes a habit that's increasingly difficult to negotiate exactly, to whom or what we're trying to map our experiences to, that we end up creating a phantom of a certain person more crystallized the more we indulge.
Someone I was chatting with online once said in the context of being on the receiving end of a one-sided and unrequited romantic interest, to “never let the other person retreat too far into their own mind”. I told him such thoughts are totally natural, again another abstracted example of human beings wanting to find some point of relation to one another, and that it's just how we choose to process and act on these thoughts that should be what matters. You can't help but imagine, after all. But lately I'm needing to remind myself that to morph and relegate aspects of another person's identity to something fantastical in your mind speaks of a certain entitlement, and that it's a slippery slope to reactionary behavior in the real world (not to mention an inability to come to grips with reality). It's healthy to accept another person as they relate to your own sense of identity as not just another abstract concept, but someone you interact with and form points of relation with therein.
In my spare time (if any), I've been playing Kentucky Route Zero, a sublime point-and-click indie adventure game that easily ranks as one of my favorite works of fiction in any medium. Thinking about some of the mechanics in the game is precisely what made me spiral into wanting to explore the way we relate to the ideas of other people through the devices we use as shorthand.
Also decided on a whim to start reading Zone One by Colson Whitehead (on top of already reading Autumn by Ali Smith which is a little more slow-going for me). Already I'm intimidated. The prose is so fully-realized and particular, where you get a clear sense that the writer has been thinking about these things for a while. Really, I've always been meaning to read it because it's supposed to be both genre fic (involving zombies of all things) as well as 'literary', the all-purpose and snobbish marker we give to things as if it's impossible to derive any kind of critical analysis from the things that are popular and marketed for general audiences. I've always wanted to dabble in genre fic, likely sci-fi. Something about hive-minds. The argot of an android not programmed for self-awareness but knowing of the concept.