Freefall Taught Me Something

Not on the physics front, though the physics jokes are quite awesome.  Remember how Chad and Bjorn kept trying to get me to understand how relationships work?  I think I’ve got it now.

Somehow, a furry sci-fi comic has managed to tell me more in a few panels than life has in 25 years.  This is why I hate being bored.  Because when I get bored, I think.  And thinking has unfortunate consquences for me.  Like finally realizing how wrong I was.  I had my normal reactions of horror and anger for what I saw was impropriety.  But then the empathy that I don’t have for real people kicked in with Winston and Florence.  And I was able to finally understand what it’s like to actually be put in such a situation.  And why I’ve been attacking the wrong problem.  It’s 0% about facts and 100% about emotions.  It’s not about being “correct” or fitting a set of critera.  If it WORKS, it works.  If it doesn’t, it just DOESN’T and no amount of reason will change either situation.  There’s no point in being angry about it.  When it’s right, you just KNOW.  And for some reason, that strikes me as being far more awesome and wonderful than checking off a list ever could.

After going through several cycles of ecstatic realization at finally getting it and sheer panic of wasted effort, I’m now sitting at work, hoping nobody will notice my tears of finally understanding.  And eating tacos and wishing I were at school right now with my friends.


  1. #1 by Joshua on November 23, 2010 - 11:28 AM

    And I’m actually HAPPY for them. WTF?? How is it that I’m HAPPY because someone else has experienced this sublime suffusion of reality with absolute perfection of emotion? That doesn’t make any sense to me and for some reason it doesn’t bother me that it makes no sense!

  2. #2 by Joshua on November 23, 2010 - 11:32 AM

    Take THAT, science! I’m HUMAN! I felt EMPATHY!!! This is awesome! It’s like waking up and being able to FEEL for the first time!

  3. #3 by Chadwick on November 23, 2010 - 11:32 AM

    Josh, I’m glad that things are making sense. It always troubled me that I couldn’t figure out how to best explain it. Apparently, what I needed were some concrete (if fictional) examples for you to make an emotional connection to so you could experience it indirectly, rather than via explanation. Probably because it often makes no sense.

    But don’t worry man; you’ll be here in just a couple hours, and you can has hugz.

  4. #4 by Joshua on November 23, 2010 - 1:24 PM

    Okay, this isn’t fun anymore.

    My old way of thinking offered ways of dealing with hard things in the guise of objective logic. Now that I feel things for people, I have to deal with them on an emotional level.

    The panel where this hit me is the one where Florence is putting Winston’s shirt away in the suitcase. I realized that even though Winston is a nice guy and I’ve got nothing against, him, in the end, he’d be my replacement, were I a friend of the crew. My old way offered a way of dealing with that by assigning roles and duties, etc., like a machine. But there’s nothing mechanical about it, just emotion. I suddenly have to deal with losing a friend now. And I’m terribly ill-equipped for it. I’m still very happy for them and I can’t think of any other way I’d rather have it. But it’s still hard to think about now having to trust someone with something that’s so very special to you and realizing that, in essence, those feelings of affection are at best misplaced and at worst, no longer needed. It’s like the ending of Labyrinth.

    Now, this xkcd comic makes sense to me. And suddenly Bender’s Big Score is not funny at all, but rather incredibly heartbreaking.

    Okay, I get it now. Isn’t there a way to turn this crap off? It gets distracting.

    • #5 by Joshua on November 24, 2010 - 5:59 PM

      K, so, much validation on this. This is turning out to be a great psych experiment for me because now I can read people better. It seems that, in the hypothetical that I actually KNOW these people (the crew from Freefall), were that to happen, the normal response WOULD actually be sadness and happiness simultaneously.

      That’s apparently how normal humans, especially males, deal. Because males tend to form very firm attachments with female friends in a different way than they form them with male friends, seeing said female friend with her new romantic interest tends to cause the male in question much sadness as he invariably sees that he’s been replaced. Though it can be shown that, in some cases it is indeed an accurate assessment of the situation, most of the time it’s misplaced jealousy arising out of the abundance of affection he had/s for said female friend. In short, he’s at best the overprotective big brother and at worst, always hoping to get a chance at romance with her (which is actually as common as not with male/female platonic friendships).

      So, in short, me feeling good and bad about Florence dating Winston is actually a good thing in terms of my emotional education. It means I’m learning to relate to people in a more normal fashion.

  5. #6 by Joshua on November 24, 2010 - 7:12 AM

    Yeah, no more reading Freefall at work. If I have to read comix, I’ll go for xkcd or reruns of UserFriendly. Work isn’t exactly the most convenient place to have an emotional episode…

    • #7 by Joshua on November 24, 2010 - 9:40 AM

      OK, I lied but I’m better now, Okay?

  6. #8 by Joshua on November 24, 2010 - 9:41 AM

    Oh, and Chad, I dunno if you stumbled me yet on this since I haven’t been able to check but you’ll know what this means:

    YES, PLEASE. ^_^

  1. The Story that Made Me Human « Around Teh Table

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