Jail

A family member, who shall remain unidentified, is back in jail. I have an overwhelming urge to write him a letter in which I call him a dumbass.

I keep thinking that one of the problems I’m having with fiction is that we live in a fictional society. People just make shit up and then fight with each other into accepting the made up thing. “Me sticking my dick into this child doesn’t hurt her. She was asking for it.” “The government is on strike.” etc. And fucking Lamar all “we have to go along with what the President says.”

I believe fiction is powerful and I believe in the transformative power of stories. Imagine a new reality and you can strive for that new reality.

And, I guess, I feel like we’re in a period where this thing that’s so beloved to me–storytelling–is openly and mostly being used to harm people.

For my part, I know, I know, the well is always a little dirty. That everything we do has some slight stain of bullshit. That longing for some past, purer time is just longing for a time when you were more ignorant of the problems of the world.

But I still feel just fundamentally offended to find the stench all over this thing I love right here near me.

And yet, what a bullshit position–to be happy being oblivious to the taint.

But what does a fantasy story even look like in this era? “A girl has a dress with a pocket. In that pocket is a rock. Whenever she looks in her pocket, the rock is there, right where she put it. It doesn’t disappear. It doesn’t become anything different. It’s the only stable thing in the world.”

Or “A boy hums a tune for the joy of it. It doesn’t mean anything beyond joy, because he doesn’t know the meanings of most things yet. Someone complains that he is too loud and the boy is quieted by his mother.” That’s a sad one.

But I feel like the fantasy is that something can be real and meaningful and harmless. And I feel like that is a terrible indictment of us as a species.