LNH20: Writer's Block Person #43: "Part of Your Community"

Drew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Tue Apr 9 11:28:51 PDT 2019

In the middle of the night, Kid Review woke up, arms annoyingly empty of anyone 
to snuggle. They yaaaaaawned and used the tiniest dot of the Review Force to 
find out where their bedmate had gone.

Aha. Writer's Block Person was sitting on the couch, in the living room, with 
the lights off, staring off into space. Okay.

Kid Review got up, quietly, and walked to the doorway between the kitchen and 
the living room. They could see Writer's Block Person outlined in the panels of 
moonlight coming thru the open blinds. "Hey hon."

"Hey." They sounded a bit annoyed at their reverie being interrupted, but that 
was okay.

"Do you want to be alone," asked Kid Review, "or is it okay if I join you?

Writer's Block Person hesitated... "I could use some hugs." The annoyance had faded.

Kid Review slipped into place beside them, putting their arms around them, and 
Writer's Block Person laid their head on their shoulder. The two of them sat 
there, breathing, being warm in the moonlight. Kid Review felt the shape in 
their arms bit by bit soften, the tension relaxing out of Writer's Block 
Person's body.

After a few minutes, Kid Review asked, "Do you want to talk?"


Kid Review didn't press it, and Writer's Block Person closed their eyes, 
nuzzling into them, breath evening out. After a minute, they opened their eyes. 

"Yeah?" said Kid Review.

"I had a team-up today."

"Yeah?" they said again, making space for the words to come.

"With a guy from the Cooperative Community."

"Ohhh... I kind of remember them."

"Yeah, they're..." Writer's Block Person sat up, pulling the details into their 
mind. "They're this sort of... anarchist commune who, like, have this really 
good-sounding list of principles they follow, about supporting each other's 
happiness, and self-expression, and ability to do the things they feel driven to 
do, and such..." They took a deep breath, let it out. "And... they have these 
brain interface devices that are supposed to help with that, like... they 
reinforce those thoughts, like, reinforce the principles that they're all 
supposed to follow in their brains, and I guess make it easier to think about 
support and, I guess, friend love, and stuff. And like, they're supposed to help 
release petty anger, and they also smooth out, like, anxiety and depression and 
such. And they all, like... get them updated all the time..." They shrugged one 
shoulder. "Yeah."

"Gotcha..." Kid Review was starting to have a sneaking suspicion of what the 
problem was. "So... what's up?"

Writer's Block Person took another breath, in and out, sat up and adjusted 
themself. "To be honest? They freak me out."

Yeah, that was it. "Yeah?"

"Like... I think I managed to not show it to the guy I was teaming up with. He 
had... like, water powers? And he seemed real nice and everything. Didn't, like, 
ask me to join, was friendly, we traded contact info for future team-ups."

Kid Review nodded. "But?"

"But like... the entire idea of... having your brain hardware written to by a 
big organization of other people, where you can't know every single one of them 
intimately..." Writer's Block Person swallowed, rubbed their chest. "Feels 
intensely, vibrantly, burningly wrong."

Kid Review put their arms back around Writer's Block Person and squeezed them, 
and they sighed.

"Like..." Writer's Block Person stopped, and thought quietly for a minute, and 
Kid Review let them. "You remember that one part in Men in Black? 'A person is 
smart, people are dangerous panicky animals?'"


"I *hate* that line so much." Writer's Block Person shook their head, hard. 
"It's thoughtless and cynical and fake deep, it's a fucking... justification for 
government agents, who are *our heroes* by the way, to lie to the public and 
take away their agency on a massive fundamental level. It's stupid and..." They 
took a deep, shuddering breath. "And I'm supposed to be *better* than thinking 
that way but I can't... I can trust a person but it's so hard to *trust* 
*people*, to not, like... think of them as..." Their fists clenched, and Kid 
Review could feel the tension in their back. "Waiting to be taken over by greedy 
and awful manipulators."

Writer's Block Person took a deep breath and the words gushed out like a river 
in the first spring thaw. "I'm super scared of giving my agency away to any 
group where I can't see the faces and know the names of every single person in 
it, because the person I don't know is going to be just another of these fucking 
gray-faced assholes who wants to hollow me out, drain me dry, take away... take 
away everything I've made myself into and more. Take away my ability to feel 
pleasure, to experience joy or happiness of any kind, and just... grind me away 
as some kind of meaningless useless sin-eater, some stupid puppet for assholes 
to reflect their own anxiety onto and beat down until doomsday." And their voice 
was shaky and their breath hitched, and suddenly they were crying, big, sobbing 

"Oh, hon..." Kid Review turned Writer's Block Person's face into their chest, 
letting them cry, petting their hair, stroking gently down their head and back. 
When it seemed like the flow was slowing, they snuggled Writer's Block Person 
back into their chest, pressing their fingertips into the back of their loved 
one's neck, rubbing softly. "Hey. It's okay. You're okay, love."

The shuddering sobs slowed, and Writer's Block Person's breath evened out, and 
they were soft against them. "...sorry."

"No, don't be." Kid Review helped Writer's Block Person sit up a bit, and nuzzle 
their face into their shoulder. "Your bad feelings are valid. You're a good 
bean. You're good."

The two sat there, the bad feelings floating off into the warm night air, 
sitting and relaxing in soft silence.

Kid Review took a deep breath, and gave Writer's Block Person a squeeze. "So... 
do you feel like you're gonna be tempted into joining up with those guys, or 

Writer's Block Person straightened up again. "Nah... or..." They ran their hand 
thru their hair and leaned back. "I dunno, I've always... wanted to experience 
everything, you know? Life is so..." They gestured, hands spiraling around each 
other in lazy circles. "There's so *much* and I love new things and I love the 
world. And like... having your brain messed with..." They smiled a little. 
"Doesn't sound like it'd be all bad."

Kid Review smiled. "I mean, people do it a lot of ways, with drugs and with 
hypnosis and with spiritual deep dives."

"Right." Writer's Block Person nodded. "And I've dabbled with all of those..."

"...and it's not like you've never been burned," said Kid Review, playing with 
Writer's Block Person's hair.

"Yeah. So like..." They shrugged. "I don't know. I don't think I'd want to join 
the Community. For one, I don't think I could put up with how generic the name 
is." Writer's Block Person smiled, and Kid Review chuckled. "But the basic 
idea..." They sucked a breath thru their teeth. "I could see at least *trying* 
it..." They looked off into space, then turned back to Kid Review. "And you 
know, part of me worries about the people in there, too."

"Right." Kid Review rubbed Writer's Block Person's scalp, smiling. "But you're 
being selfish right now, and that's okay."

"Heh." They grinned a little. "Right. And I..." They looked out the window. The 
sky was starting to turn just a little bit blue. "I just... I remember being 
real young and having so much good energy and... not *constant* joy but so much 
happy engagement with the world around me. And..." They wrapped their arms 
around themself. "And I had *so much* taken away from me. Taken piece by tiny 
piece, by the people who were supposed to keep me safe, give me what I needed, 
raise me right. And I thought it was just..." They clenched their fist. "Just 
the process of growing up, that it was inevitable. And I forgot how *wonderful* 
it could be just to be alive until I found people who..." They smiled at Kid 
Review. "People who were willing to help me find those tiny pieces again and put 
them back into place. And I'm just... part of me is just honestly terrified of 
it happening again." They shook their head. "Thinking that some nice people are 
helping me out as they strip away little bits of joy under the surface. Maybe 
they don't even mean to. I don't think the people who raised me meant bad things 
for me. But..." They shrugged. "Yeah." They sighed, falling back against the 
couch pillows. "Yeah."

Writer's Block Person lapsed into silence, staring out the window, watching the 
sun rise; and Kid Review watched with them. When the shapes of houses and trees 
were clear and in color, they said, "How are you feeling?"

Writer's Block Person heh'd, and smiled at them. "Better." They stretched and 
yawned. "Mmm... that really didn't have too much to do with the Community, did it."

"Not really." Kid Review grinned.

Writer's Block Person pushed themself to their feet, and extended a hand to help 
Kid Review up. "I should apologize, get them a gift basket or something."

"They're fine, I'm sure." Kid Review took the hand, standing, and slipped their 
arms around Writer's Block Person's waist, nuzzling into their shoulder. "Maybe 
in the morning, you can see if they need any actual help. Maybe reach out to 
that guy you teamed up with, keep in touch - reassure yourself that nothing 
screwy's going on."

"Yeah." Writer's Block Person sighed, and kissed Kid Review on the cheek. "Sorry 
for making you get up."

"You should be. I demand makeup snuggles."

"Sounds good. You wanna be the big spoon?"

"Yes please~"

And the world kept turning.

Drew "you write and you work out some feelings" Perron

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