Saturday, September 21, 2013

I Don't Want To Kill Everyone You Ever Loved

Here's the trouble:

If you and I believe different things, I can't tell you about myself without telling you I think that you're going to lose every single person you've cared about. That they are, or will be, dead. Really dead. And you will never see them again. And the dearest hopes you have are all lies. And that you're wasting your life. If you and I believe different things, you can't tell me about yourself without telling me something very similar. I think you're lost and you think the same about me.

We can argue about who has the burden of proof. About who is being reasonable. Maybe we can fight about it. It's been done. Some of you may think I'm arguing a false equivalence. One can always - and should always - make a distinction between good ideas and bad ideas.

However, people are always unreasonable. You do the things you need to do. You invent the reasons later. You are not cataloguing the world. You're just having an argument in your head from when you were 12. From when you got hurt and never forgot it.

You make up stories to scramble for safety. Some stories hang together better than others? Maybe. It's just that every one of you, every one, is spending the night alone in a haunted house. The rooms are stuffed with monsters only you can see. The night lasts all your life. In the morning you die.

Under such conditions, you do whatever you have to do. My ways are not yours. In fact, if I tell you what they are, you might give up entirely. The words might break you, I think. One of us might disappear down that dark hall forever.

But we have to find a way to talk to each other. It's the only thing that makes any of this bearable.

I'm sorry. I'd make it better for you if I could. I know you'd do the same for me.


  1. I can kiss it and make it all better. You don’t need to cry anymore. Those nasty germs? There aren’t any just like there aren’t any monsters under your bed. And I can prove it to you. Come, let’s go look together. See. Nothing, only a bit of dust, and a book, and--oh, isn’t that the missing piece of the puzzle you were working on? See, you’re feeling better already! Now aren’t you glad we had this little talk?


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