LNH20: Writer's Block Person #43: "Part of Your Community"
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
"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
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
"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?"
And the world kept turning.
Drew "you write and you work out some feelings" Perron
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