She swirled her coffee with an air of disinterest- little streaming steamy seams rising into the upper rafters of the Cutwick. Now as much as there were many people at all in that place very few were like her. Not in terms of her appearance, she was a dishevelled Famee-Dramee writer sort like the rest, but because of her strange solipsistic attitude. We all had a great deal of admiration for her, in a very British reserved sort of way, but I was one of the few who had the time in the day to speak to her. As much as I’m ashamed to admit many fellow patrons actually still bothered with the sort of unimaginative nervousness many of their sort got around women. I didn’t really understand the hysteria. Sure she was mildly attractive but I spoke to her for her vision not her bilateral symmetry and hip to waist ratio.
Perhaps I should explain what made this woman so exceptional to us. She, like many of us, constantly grappled with the fact thaty we were atoms as much as any other matter and that our matter, in a way possibly unique in the universe, was arranged in ways capable of feeling things. I often struggled with the fact that the same atoms making up my brain, the carbon and hydrogen and whatever else, could be arranged in a carbon rich coal-like rock or a goopy soup and it would feel nothing. Somehow a particular swirl of atoms in the stew could sing and write poetry and contemplate calculus and whatever else. This was a common realization and not just amongst Famee-Dramee s and was not what made her exceptional. Instead it was her realization that the distinctions these thoughtful atomic stews made between separate objects and interactions were entirely arbitrary. There was nothing inherently better about pleasure over pain. It felt ‘better’ but that was arbitrary. What about pleasure made it better than pain? Well who knows but it most likely serves as nothing more than a sort of biological semaphore to make the soupy stews automatically contract from situations that may prevent them being able to think any further(as death was really just a transition from soup that thinks to soup that doesn’t. Matter ‘has’ thoughts and those thoughts, to ensure their survival, arrange the atoms to maintain the ability to create thoughts. As such this delightful lady had decided that instead whole new, equally arbitrary distinctions would be drawn. She was, as a result, entirely mad- and we all envied her for it. In an act of genius she’d began to fast herself since what made her state of thoughtfulness superior to other states had been questioned and the conclusion drawn as she needed instead of eating, to horde food and keep it from being disturbed. She tried to maintain pebbles in an identical pebblish state (as she had decided the way the atoms in pebbles that she found in her garden were arranged were the new thought-soup arrangement and needed to be maintained at all costs). She’d gone for days without sleep when she decided that death was sleep and sleep was death for thoughts ending meant lives ending- for life was an arbitrary distinction(if a fire spreads and changes and adapts to its environment ect…). She had also smeared herself in peanut butter and had yet to wipe most of it off since the continued survival of the bacteria on her skin was now deemed more important than maintaining her thought soups chemically similar container ‘healthy’- whatever that meant.
It goes without saying that I was smitten instantly and we were married later that year. None of our families survived the wedding.
Whatever that means.