People should come with instructions.
I find human relationships to be the equivalent of doing a jigsaw puzzle while blindfolded, upside-down, in a windstorm while listening to jazz. I got a Ph.D. in human relations just so I could figure out intersubjectivity, because I could clearly see that the actual people around me didn’t know shit. Isn’t it ironic that I had to go read books, go to classes, do statistics, and dip into the canon of metaphysical tomes, in order to find out what the villagers thought they were doing in my home town? The fact that I had to consult the non-human in order to understand the human was a further step up the rungs of paradox. As if They’d know. To have to go to a inhuman creature, like God, Kali or Kukulcan, to explain humanity to a human. . . Doesn’t that in itself illuminate a major design flaw in the human experience, without, however really explaining anything?
If you don’t like irony, ask to be reincarnated as a dog.
Therefore I had to develop my own system. I like to think of relationships in terms of food. I find it helps explain things,. I can understand, and explain the mysteries of the universe, but hand me a person and I freeze up. I don’t get it. How do I operate a person? Like, where’s the gearshift? How do I put her in Park? Is she all-wheel drive, 4-wheel drive, front-wheel drive or no-wheel drive? And where the fuck is reverse? (No that didn’t happen, no I didn’t say that, no I don’t know what I should understand about you but it is clear that I don’t. Damnit, doesn’t this thing back up?)
I still don’t know what a person is for, actually. You know, like vitamin D bumps up your immune system and vitamin B helps run your nervous system and oxytocin makes you feel good and protects your heart. Greens help your bowels. Fish keep your brain from congealing; peppers, garlic and ginger keep candida from setting up a fascist government in your intestines; green tea…I don’t know green tea is for because I hate it. But everyone and their dog is drinking it so I assume it is for something other than following the lemming in front of you in order to be neighborly.
Information like that about people would be helpful.
We could start by publishing general information, or helpful hints, about each person on the planet. Each citizen could then carry the indications around in a little pamphlet or, for those who can’t function for two seconds without some electronic gadget, in a specialized app.
We could begin with general handling instructions. For example, take the hypothetical man Luke: good for laughs, but do not use while trying to do anything serious.
And Brenda: pessimist, use sparingly and with caution, but don’t leave her out of your life completely or there will be hell to pay.
Jess: sexual object: use liberally.
And Bobby D., do not leave in car unsupervised or leave out in the sun. Warms your heart, but don’t ask him to be responsible for anything.
Susan: doesn’t warm your heart, but will be responsible for everything if needed.
Isabelle: whatever you do, don’t look her in the eye.
Wendy: under no circumstances add water.
Debbie: good for a few laughs, but if you don’t say something interesting in five minutes, she will cheat on you with her imaginary girlfriend, who lives inside her head in an omnipresent manner reminiscent of god, and later, when asked, Debbie will say that yes she had a fabulous time with you and you will think it’s about you, but it ain’t. In fact, when questioned later by the Tantric Police, you will say you were entirely unaware that you were having a threesome. (Which would explain her strange, hyperbolic breathing pattern while you were discussing the relative merits of not suddenly becoming a Christian just because you are having a baby. You just thought she was very excitable.)
Whoops did I say that out loud? That was definitely some information I had not intended on sharing. It must be the Hypno-Blog Effect, which is related to FaceBook Psychosis, whereupon you think you are safe at home in your own diary, but OMG, you just posted your inside voice on the internet where it will outlive the half-life of plutonium and your children will be able to read it.
Damn that trance-y, tricky social media that convinces even someone like me that the entire world is my private living room. What I intended to say was:
Debbie: use with caution. (If you read further, my pamphlet says: no known uses. Research pending.)
Some human interactions will need something stronger than over-the-counter advice. These interactions would need something more like a prescription: take two people in the morning and don’t take anymore before 8pm.
Or: only talk to this person using words that begin with “B.”
Peter: user may experience drowsiness when used with heavy machinery.
Renata: DO NOT TAKE WITH MILK
Dates should definitely come with indications printed in big red capital letters. For example,
Jose: goes off at any moment. Only use when wearing protective headgear and goggles. Be ready to prepare shelter and to possibly be sued by anyone in the vicinity.
Lorrielle: Best taken with other people. (For an indication like this, it is best to ask a lot of questions.)
Julieta: Best taken before bed.
Nutrition Labels for People
I, personally, would like these “People Labels,” or PaPs (short for People-Apps) to also list nutritive values, and predictions about what would happen if I were to ingest them. . .just to stretch the analogy past recognition.
Tara: Pretty much like drinking 3 Red Bulls.
Jack: Pretty much what would happen if you ate a whole bag of Lay’s Potato chips in one sitting, once or twice a week.
Gwendolyn: Like salad without the dressing.
Yuri: a bag of green M and M’s.
Cheri: Only use with alcohol or tranquilizers.
Garth: similar effect to eating bacon, eggs and steak four times a week for twenty years.
Saskia: perfectly sautéed in butter, ocean-going, tilapia, with fresh organic seasonal garden vegetables, and organic brown rice with fresh side salad, raised in PDX. (Portland Oregon for those of you not from there).
Leigh: so gay s/he’s like eating food that has not been fertilized by the opposite sex; only food produced by budding or parthenogenesis.
My perfect match: she tastes like cappuccino, chocolate, and fine red wine, my favorite sourdough bread from San Francisco and cheese! (Not all at once. She’s like wandering through all your favorite tastes each day.)
(God I love this new PaPs system! I’m happy already!)
Joey: one word: Jello.
Using the Food Analogy Intersubjectivity System to Explain Heartbreak and Obsession
Using this paradigm, I find I can explain break-ups with lovers and the aftermath. For me, it’s pretty much like this:
I’m surrounded by cheeses, all kinds of cheese. I’m in a veritable smorgasbord of cheese; Gouda, brie, cheddar, goat, goat brie, pepper jack, Hammermill, oh no wait that’s copy paper…but it should be a cheese. It sounds like one. Anyway, I’m fucking surrounded by all the cheese in the universe and of course I’m wearing blinders, and all I can see is that little cube of inexpensive Swiss that I got at some drunken party somewhere, and that’s what I want and that’s what I had, and no matter what, all I still want is that little square of cheese with the holes in it. Out of all possible cheeses in this megalopolis of dairy products, I just want that one, just that one small piece of cheese, no other will do, not another size, flavor, color taste—not the one that doesn’t say the things I don’t want to hear. No, I want the piece of cheese that only says things I don’t want to hear and, did I mention this detail?, that this one piece of little off-yellow Swiss is so important to me, that if I could just have it nothing else would ever matter again. I would not want anything else, ever because I’d achieved this bit of cheese and I could just die, a happy woman sitting in a mousetrap.
Such is love.
Darling, you are my Swiss.
The Laughing Coyote