Title: High Places
Subtext: You could call it tragic; I could call it whatever I want.
Date: 07 Sep 19 (Saturday in the PM)
Time: 2 minutes
Replies: 12
Revisions: 8
Publicity: Workshop

What is it like for you to feel understood? What is it like for you to feel not understood? Is it them or is it you?

Say you grew up not far from a place of learning known to be fancy. Fancy girl in ironic not fancy ironed clothes goes, “You’re not supposed to say that.” First time you ever heard you weren’t supposed to say something that wasn’t even shit, fuck, pussy, cunt, asshole or any of the other ones, just something the ivy tower spin doctors weren’t spinning and were telling their fans not to spin either. What did you know about that before? But now you were set straight. But you wouldn’t have put it like that anymore, which could be good if you knew why and simply found better ways to put.

Same time though, a not ironic fancy guy comes walking by you just when you were practicing the newthink that goes with the newspeak, and he gives you the speech about elitist egalitarianism which you didn’t know was a thing, and you totally get that too, and it makes you see the fog in the air around the tower and you just want to go home. I mean, you appreciated being set straight once, set straight again — zigged and then a zagged. But you just want to go home. Never mind the dictionary picture of disgust by fancy girl once at the place of learning party with subsidized drugs, who said, “You teach at a private school?” Ironiclast! You didn’t know you were supposed to be doing Americorps. You really didn’t. Never mind the anti-egalitarian elitism Alex P. Keaton who zagged you, either. Never mind how far you could see from the tower, which you started to not be able to see from. How far could you see from home?

Anyway, so couple years go by. You bump into fancy girl and she’s in line with Keaton guy for the big bank job sign up sheet. “Consultants get to travel a lot, so.” She’s holding dude’s hand, and you’re like what the fuck. Shit. Assholes. And the other ones. There would be private jets for them. There would be reunions when they didn’t talk about what they were and weren’t supposed to say anymore. They would just be living. Like I was before I met those assholes. Me, not you. I don’t know a damn thing about you. I wonder if they felt understood by me?

One day years later, I run into fancy girl and she tells me, “You were the one who told me to just be myself.”

Dammit, if I can’t trust myself, can you?


Horse » Authorship
Rooster » 9:58 AM 10 Oct 19
Horse » 6:40 PM 20 Sep 19
Horse » 2:59 PM 07 Sep 19
Horse » 12:11 PM 07 Sep 19
Horse » 12:06 PM 07 Sep 19
Horse » 12:04 PM 07 Sep 19
Horse » 12:00 PM 07 Sep 19

The Thread (12)

 Author's voice in grey. 

  1. Feels honest. Feels bitter. Imaging the other and the other’s imaging of me.

  2. What would this look like as a more traditional story? Maybe worse. But I’d like to see it.

  3. I almost responded along the same lines.

  4. Maybe this will stir up some good old fashioned Rooster controversy: the ending, the last line (and then maybe the whole story) feels a little like an exercise in self aggrandizement.

  5. Who is the self?

    I guess that’s one way out.

    What is the self?

    When, where, why and how is the self?

    Just thought I’d round it off.

    I also had a similar idea about this as a story, but more along the lines of considering an alternative construction of it. This is one of those not all the way thought through compositions of a half thought through idea. Lots of emotion though. I always imagined RL as a workshop where we’d approach ideas first by discussing composition, acknowledging the interplay but not getting carried away before some decent whittling by way of talking shop.

  6. I’m also not saying there’s anything wrong with an exercise in self aggrandizement. How could we make it an even better exercise in that?

    Truth is I did intend some criticism of the so called spin doctors.

  7. The title on this is wrong.

    The narrator reflects on a time when someone changed her thinking, then changed it back again. She wasn’t thinking for herself either time, even if the second change gave it back. It seems like a moment of vulnerability, not self-aggrandizement, but it’s kind of cool how you see the self-agrandizment.

  8. Added a last line. I think it (of the kind of line it is or could be) would break the rule, seeing that it was added later and all, post replies.

  9. Cut the last two lines and I love it — reminds me of the Eastrich and Westrich series.

    I didn’t see the narrator as a she because I’m a he and this rang so true and real and firsthand that I couldn’t see anything but me.

    I loathe the ivory tower, its occupants, and whatever it’s self-serving historically inconsistent message of the day is.

  10. Narcissism (noun): I didn’t see the narrator as a she because I’m a he and this rang so true and real and firsthand that I couldn’t see anything but me.

  11. Either that or it was written true to a life I’ve lived — which I know to be the case because I know it’s true to a life Horse lived, and we happened to live that life in tandem.

  12. Just be thankful we made it out with our lower middle class crassness intact.

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