Some days the sun is less hungry than others.

Hello again, Jasper. I read your reply to my letter last night.

The therapist’s office is in Magnolia Promenade. The sunlight here is different from the sunlight in San Myshuno. The birds here are very talkative. Your neurochemicals would enjoy it, I think.

You ask me to tell you a story of grace. I don’t know if I can do that.

I can tell you the story of a day when the sun isn’t so hungry.

I can't write

I will not disturb your mask if you need it. We all have to get through the sun as best we can.

Tell me, about your words; when do you know they are lies, and when do you know they are true?

I ask because I am about to talk to a therapist, and these things concern me. I think that, like you, she does things with her words that I don’t understand.

I can't write at all

I don’t believe I was attempting to look behind anything in your letter. Do you look behind things? Do you ever find anything?

Once when I was younger I tried to find out what was behind waffles. It did not go well.

Perhaps I will try some of this wordless communication you mention with the therapist. She will ask why I did not come to my previous appointments, and I will think the sun and a cage and me clawing my way out of this universe at her.

ugh ugh ugh

But I was going to tell you the story of a day when the sun isn’t so hungry.

There aren’t as many people out in Magnolia Promenade this morning as there would be in San Myshuno. It’s better when there are less people. I think that the sun’s hunger grows in relation to the number of its possible food sources.

Right now there are only a few early shoppers. There is a slight breeze, the air is cool, and the sunlight is grazing on the bushes and pink willows.

I am not looking forward to explaining my absence, but I do feel a certain calm in my chest. I think it comes from doing something that I know will make Sarah happy. Or at least less angry.

oh gimme that fire

I told her I would come here today. I told her I would try.

It’s better around her. Sometimes it is, anyway. I don’t think the sun wants to eat her. I think it just wants to shine on her.


Other times I think it wants to swallow her into itself and dissolve her in its gases.

and my mother told me son let it be

The therapist’s name is Maura Schaefer. You would probably like her. She wears a lot of masks and she talks in cardboard words.

Perhaps if I tell her that I played happily with a ball, she will be placated and she will let me out of New Cardboard City.

She smiles at me, but I am sure that a Shakespeare scholar like yourself knows that one may smile, and smile, and be a villain.

She says, “Hello, Seth,” and I sit down across from her.

writing is the hardest thing

She says, “The first missed appointment is free. The second is not. I’m glad you showed up today. Are you going to be coming back?”

The answer is that I don’t know. But I don’t say that. You say that other people don’t like my words. They like their social niceties. I will try that out.

I say, “Yes. I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.”

Her face softens. She responds with, “All right. So, how are you doing today?”

You may be on to something.

god this is so hard

How would you answer that question? “I’m fine, thanks. How are you?” maybe. Or perhaps, “I am but mad north-north-west.”

Or maybe you wouldn’t say anything, and you would think pictures of the wind bending waves of long grass, rows and rows of tulips, and a colorful silhouette of a man in a meditating position at her.

I think that your approach has merit, and that you know things about other people that I don’t, but I am not you.

I say, “The sun isn’t as hungry today.”


She says, “Well, that’s good,” and I can see that she’s not sure what to make of me.

She asks, “How’s Sarah?”

I tell her, “She’s fine. She’s glad that I came here today. Also I played with a ball like she wanted. Released some endorphins. It was nice.”

I think that must be it, that I’ve assured her that I am perfectly fine and normal and that she’ll let me go now.

Instead she asks, “What do you mean when you say that the sun is hungry?”

lol hamlet quotes

I could tell her about the patterns and the emptiness. I could tell her about how no one is real. If you watch them long enough you can see the cardboard. One of the patterns is thinking that it’s the other people who are cardboard.

The human species is a great big mirrored funhouse. It’s distorted projections of the self all the way down.

I could tell her about the terror that comes when I think about being forced into a pattern with no meaning, and how the sun is at its most hungry when I see the empty cardboard suits destroy anything that is real.

I could ask her why I should not my quietus make with a bare bodkin. I am fairly sure that she wouldn’t let me leave then, though. I hope that you, with your background, would realize that it’s just a rhetorical question.

I feel the sun coming through the window behind me. It’s licking at my skin. Trying to find a way in.

I know that the sun is a big ball of gas that does not care about the empty patterns that make up the dominant species on a planet that it provides energy to. I am but mad north-north-west.

heh, clickbait

I am trying your wordless communication. I am thinking pictures at her.

I imagine a beige carpet and a window with the sunlight streaming through and dust falling through the beams. I imagine a death camp, smoke curling up to the sky from the crematories. I imagine a flag and chants of allegiance. I imagine a dark living room lit only by the blue blinking light of a television. I imagine a billboard looming over a highway, its empty jumble of words grinning down at the people in their cars. I imagine small cheap plastic toys hanging in the aisle of a grocery store. I imagine the faces of dermatologists who hate me for my one weird trick.

I imagine a fire that burns and burns and consumes everything in its path.

She says, “Seth, you okay? You still here with me?”

sold my soul to a sweet melody

Your wordless communication did not work. I am sorry. I do not think this is a story about a day when the sun isn’t as hungry anymore.

I tell Maura that I mean exactly what I say. I tell her thank you, but that I don’t think this is helping, and that I won’t be back. I ask her to please not call my phone anymore.

hey there Seth, welcome back

I know Sarah will be upset. If I tell her. Maybe I won’t.

I tried. I really did. But this is not going to work. This is not what I need.

I don’t know what it is I need.

Maybe gasoline. I think gasoline might help. Gasoline and a match and a way out of this universe.

I like to make teeth out of different things

Outside the sun is chewing on the pink willows. Its saliva drips from the green bushes.

I walk through it as it sinks its teethlight into my skin, and I am not afraid.

You are wise to not try to save me.

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7 Responses to Struct/Con

  1. RipuAncestor says:

    While I was reading the scene where Seth is in therapy I was reminded of a scene in the Watchmen -graphic novel, where the masked vigilante (who’s an intriguingly insane person with a very existentialistic outlook) Rorschach is talking to a psychiatrist. It’s an awesome scene.

    Anyway, I liked this chapter a lot. Seth goes back and forth between endearingly tragic and unnervingly creepy. I also find it quite heartwarming that he actually tries to listen to Jasper. It makes me think that Seth kind of likes Jasper in his own way and wants to form a connection to him and other people too despite his feelings of alienation… Although some of those connections probably involve gasoline and matches.

    Liked by 2 people

    • medleymisty says:

      Unlike pretty much everything people tell me my stuff reminds them of, I have actually read Watchmen. 🙂 It was years ago though, shortly before the movie came out. I’ll have to look that scene up. I remember not liking it much myself, though.

      Yay I’m glad you liked it! It took forever to write and it was hard and I’m never sure if my stuff is any good.

      That’s a good description of Seth in general I think. 😉 And he does want to be friends with Jasper. Hopefully they will be friends eventually. I love friend shipping, and I’m way into it more than these days than I am into romance shipping.

      Yeah, he is still Seth, and Arsonist’s Lullabye is still one of his songs. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh, man. I’m nervous for what is coming next!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. “The birds here are very talkative. Your neurochemicals would enjoy it, I think.” This line made me laugh. Seth was respectful of Jasper, and I’m glad. Maybe they can build a relationship to the point where they can speak honestly without masks, but for now, Jasper needs time I think.

    “when do you know they are lies, and when do you know they are true?.”
    “Do you look behind things? Do you ever find anything?”
    These questions really stood out to me. I like how Seth isn’t afraid to ask the hard questions. I wonder sometimes what’s true and what’s a lie. We put on our best faces and tell our best stories, but who are we underneath… really? When we look behind the “faces” and “Stories,” what will we find? Like Seth says… the “distorted projections of the self…” that’s what we show others.

    “Yes. I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.”
    I almost feel like Seth shouldn’t have said this… like he needed to be real to himself, and therapy won’t help him if he puts on masks like the ones he criticizes others for wearing. Yet I can see why he tries.

    I’m concerned about what he’ll do next. I get it. Therapy wasn’t helping him. Maybe he needed a different therapist. Maybe he needs a different technique or approach to help him. Gasoline and a match though do not seem to be a good answer to anything.

    Liked this letter a lot!

    Liked by 1 person

    • medleymisty says:

      Looking forward to seeing how their friendship develops, yeah. 🙂

      In a lot of ways Seth is basically me turned up to 11, and, well – sometimes I get feedback about how I’m not afraid to ask hard questions, but I don’t understand that because to me, the questions that I ask aren’t hard. They’re not hard to Seth either. I think we’d both be confused by the idea that we should be afraid to ask them. 😉

      I will admit that I plagiarized myself there, and that recently in a LJ post I wrote before this chapter I observed that the human species was just distorted reflections of the self all the way down, and that I wanted out. Because humans project so much, and they only see reality as it looks curved around their ego. Like they look out at reality, but their ego distorts it to the point where what they see is actually just the denied parts of themselves reflected back. I find that really really really hard to live with. Like back in the Bad Times when people didn’t see me as I am, and instead they saw their ego reflected back at them but they called it by my username, that messed me up and it got to me, like really bad.

      And then now of course I wander around the internet and I see fascists saying it’s the other people who are fascists, racists saying it’s the other people who are racists, followers who refuse to think for themselves saying that it’s the other people who can’t think for themselves and who are followers, and I don’t even know how to live. Because how do you live in a reality where there are seven billion humans who only see their own ego instead of reality, but they act out their egotistical delusions on that reality? It is extremely difficult for me to live with the idea that another human could only see other living beings as a container for the parts of their self that they don’t like, and they could act that out on real living beings, all the way up to rounding up other real people and putting them in camps and gassing them. Like sure, maybe the pro-genocide Reddit poster is really unhappy in their own life and they have all this gunk built up that they need to work through and they’re lost and alone and full of existential anxiety and they don’t see themselves as a monster. None of that matters to the real people who they really hurt while they’re walking around in reality but seeing only their self reflected back at them through a glass darkly.

      Errr…sorry for going off on that. 😉

      And another thing Seth and I share – what is this best face and best story you speak of? That’s why Seth was asking, because he genuinely doesn’t understand what a lie is. He also didn’t understand what Jasper meant by saying that Seth would look behind what Jasper wrote in his letters, because Seth isn’t looking behind the words. Ugh, this is hard to explain.

      Okay, like….Jasper said that Seth called him out on this stuff and he’s like “Oh, you can look behind my words and call me out on my shit”, and Seth is like “Err, what? I just saw and reacted to what you shared with me. No special effort of looking behind things required.”

      Well, Seth is trying out Jasper’s theory of masks and saying socially appropriate things. Or at least he thinks that’s what Jasper is talking about and what Jasper thinks he should do.

      Oh, Seth thinks that gasoline and a match is a good answer to everything. 😉

      Yay thank you!


      • No worries about the long rant. I don’t mind at all. You bring up really good questions about life and existence and how we interact with one another and that’s what most people don’t do often enough or at all. In most everyday conversations I have with others, we don’t go deep… but those are the things that matter, and those are the parts of ourselves we may be afraid to admit, expose, or discuss, and I think that’s why people do such horrible things to others – because they aren’t willing to take a good, hard, long look at themselves and deal with all that inside them and they act out on others because it’s easier to point out problems in others than it is to see them in ourselves. I am naturally a reflective and introspective person. I take the time to think deeply about things and ask questions and wonder about the deeper meaning behind things. It bugs me when I’m in a group of people or interacting with an individual on a “surface” level only. I mean, not every relationship is capable of depth – like the clerk at the grocery store or the guy sitting next to me on the plane – though I recognize they are both humans like I am and deserve to be treated with respect and dignity (which I strive to show) – and “depth” would kind of lose its meaning if I got “deep” with absolutely everyone. However, I think this is why I revert to my introverted self after long hours with large groups and I need time to recharge because socially acceptable polite chit-chat and small talk bug the hell out of me because it all feels so fake and disingenuous.

        In relation to writing SimLit, compared to the majority of SimLit out there, I appreciate your depth and questioning and your honesty and authenticity, especially in your character of Seth. If we had more people like that, I think our world would be a much better place.

        However, there’s this socially acceptable and kind-of just accepted way of doing things in SimLit and I gave up awhile ago trying to write “nice family stories.” Kass’s story took a turn after the introduction of her dad and EXCES and then took a serious nosedive after Davis’ revelation. Now I write what I want to write regardless of whether it fits the stereotypical “nice” SimLit story. That’s not to bash on anyone who writes this way, because again, there’s a human being behind the computer screen playing the game and writing the story. I appreciate the happier SimLit stories and the people who write them, but I honestly do want to see authenticity there too. Happiness and joy are a part of life too, and I like to do what I can to uplift positive and healthy relationships (including with self) in stories and life. Sheesh… did not intend to write rant of my own. Haha…


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