Laughter
rating: +26+x

Most days, I wish I hadn't been given the ability to do anything for myself. It's nice that I can feed myself and use the toilet on my own, for what I hope are obvious reasons. The act of operating an elevator properly is the high point of my day — the moment where I can choose the floor I want is like having a weight lifted off of my chest. And so on and so forth.

The thing about agency is that even the smallest drop opens the door for guilt. There are an assortment of very good reasons why I'm not responsible for what I do, but whenever I do anything more than put one foot in front of the other, I can't shake away the thought: You could have stopped yourself. Guilt is the one emotion I've always felt strongly, and it's doing me no favors now.

Every so often, I'll try to count the bodies — memorializing them, if only in aggregate — but my body is usually steering me away before I can get a look at everyone. It's a shame, because I'm very good at memorization (always have been, actually) and could keep an accurate tally if I was allowed. Now, that has done me favors — my memory is what allows me to "write" this. Writing still brings satisfaction even when I'm the whole audience.

But I digress. My point is, I am a writer, and with some effort I can still do it in a limited fashion. I construct narratives. Here are two narratives.

The first entails me being placed into a body that goes around and makes people kill each other in a blind panic. I am a decent person, and I find this very tragic, and I wish that it wasn't happening, or at the very least that I was not forced to participate. Even the faintest whiff of agency is enough to make me doubt and blame myself. It happens anyways.

The second entails me being placed into a body that goes around and makes people kill each other in a blind panic. I am an evil man who takes great joy in this, only wishing that I could take control of my body and do it more often. Every moment where I can move for myself gives me hope that this might happen. Things proceed as normal.

You'll notice that empathy and decency only cause me anguish; I doubt they alleviate the pain of being crushed under a pile of screaming humanity. My teachers always said that a logical, detached perspective was one of my strengths.

There's a moment, when the crowd's fervor reaches its fever pitch, where I have a chance to express myself. Not speech, unfortunately. But whatever I'm feeling comes out, if I let it.

I'm tired of crying. Maybe I should laugh.

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