Andy Rooney once kinda famously said, “Life is like a roll of toilet paper; the closer you get to the end, the faster it goes.”
Some seasons in life blast through faster than you can count, memorialize, analyze, process, and forget about them.
I’ve recently been so studiously industrious and stupidly studious that I’ve neglected to tell you about what I’ve been dying to undertake.
To start with, I’ve come to terms with that silly narrative reality that I was late to discover but you’ve likely known since you started the endless popularity contest (assuming my readership demographic is constrained by the boringness of words, of course).
A Recap of Narrative
There is a “reality” around us, though some philosophers like to pretend it’s complicated. That reality has non-negotiable rules (like gravity making stuff fall) and negotiable variables (like stuff falling slower when you pull the planet out of the way).
There is also a “narrative/image/optics/perspective/attitude” contained inside each and every sentient being. It draws connections between physical things. Each one is different and perfectly logical, though not necessarily based on reality.
Most issues come from conflicting narratives. Gummy Schnoogers finds her narrative perfectly sensible that everyone would consider laundry going inside the laundry receptacle, while I tend to pay attention to more important things like SpaceChem or peeing and don’t have time for that sort of pettiness.
Narrative conflicts are a large reason wars break out, children throw tantrums, laws get writ, and my kind sleeps on the couch.
I possess a unique genetic defect that I can only trace as something recessive that I got from my 2nd nephew 1.7 times removed. For some reason I naturally dislike narrative.
That’s not to say I can’t use it. I’m obviously writing real good to you here and know how to get big thoughts through little words.
What I am saying is that I despise the fact that narrative blends itself so intimately with the truth. I wrote an entire list of self-help concepts (and am still wrapping up one about Christianity) to “cure” that malady.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to free myself from it, and I fear they’re interminably linked.
The problem comes strictly from our brains, which I’ll show with an example:
A computer would see the words above and interpret them as raw information. They wouldn’t understand any implications. Since my best friends were computers (you’ll be missed, Pentium 3) they taught me this perspective:
- 0 CONSUME
- 1 TACO
- 2 BURNING
- 3 RESULTS
Humans, however, fill in the blanks with a story:
- (someone) is CONSUME(ing)
- a TACO
- that is BURNING
- in its RESULTS
Narrative makes reality hard to process at its most rudimentary level. Some of the more imaginative people take their narrative and run far with it:
- My aunt Matilda (whom I love very dearly but not recently since she died) was once on a vacation in Bombay when she decided she’d CONSUME
- a type of food, of which was foreign in consistency and shape to her palate, yet reminded her of the somewhat familiar Mexican TACO that she had grown up with in her native land of Uzbekistan
- and, as she was pining for the fields of her native land, and overall upsetting the other patrons with her BURNING desires to CONSUME more TACOs
- created most unpalatable RESULTS for a woman of her class and stature, electing for comfort over propriety due to a non-TACO TACO BURNING an infectious intestinal malady of severity unknown to most unaccustomed to gas stations.
As you can imagine, encoding this to reality can obstruct friendships with all but the most keenly
delusional imaginative. I’ll probably write a book on it someday.