R: (Writing diligently in the dark blue journal, spinning the black pen in thought in pauses between sentences.
Concluding his last sentence, he sets down the pen to the side and closes the journal)
I don't know if you're capable of this, but can we talk in a way that doesn't involve you using the journal here as a medium, like, in the form of a spirit or something?
(Silence) I've already finished writing down my thoughts for today, so I'd prefer to verbally speak my piece. (Silence) Alright, maybe I can try projecting an image of you, then?
S: By all means, go for it.
R: (Somewhat startled)
You're here, after all. Well, here goes nothing.
(Closes eyes and begins imagining a humanoid figure.
After a few moments he opens his eyes, and sees before him a male-like figure with a blank canvas, no face or any distinguishing features,
very small layers peeling and dissipating from the outer parts of the figure)
S: You're articulate in language, but you don't possess much in visual creativity, do you?
R: It's not like you've been manifested for the sake of appearing outlandish; I conceived you purely for the purpose of having a discussion.
S: (Pointing at own head)
Can you at least give me a face?
R: I'll give you a mouth, but that's it.
S: I suppose it's better than nothing.
R: (Conceives a poor, cartoonish mouth for S)
Does that satisfy you a little?
S: "A little" is putting it lightly.
R: We all work with what we have on hand, isn't that right? Anyway, I'm in a bit of a bind here and would like to hear your opinions on such.
S: What is it, exactly?
R: You know how I've been taking steps towards being more outgoing and socially active as well as not shying away from sharing my thoughts and feelings, right?
S: Of course.
R: I've made progress, but I fear that I'm gradually being pulled back into isolation by my old habits.
Just today I was at a restaurant with a few close friends; like any other conversation, it was about school, work, home life, and plans for the future.
Everyone else was talking, yet I just sat there, staring at my cup of coffee, completely lost in a thoughtless void.
Truthfully speaking, I wasn't interested in what my friends were discussing, nor was I interested in anything else that was happening around me.
There was a moment in which the entire world had just disappeared and I was sitting in a room - a gray room - in which there were small windows I could look through and see individuals and
what they were doing, what they were saying.
It took one of my friends to take me by the shoulder and nudge me to consciousness; they asked if I was alright, which I half-heartedly replied, "Yeah, I'm fine.
" The group conversation continued and I only observed and listened to them for the remainder of it.
I then excused myself to leave early, providing them with a believable excuse, and now I'm here.
S: Did you go anywhere else before coming home? Or do you have a plan to go elsewhere?
R: No. I came straight here and I don't have any other plans for being outside the house.
S: You're currently in the transition period of becoming more socially active, so it's possible that you just had an off day.
R: That was my initial thought; however, after taking the time to write about it, I couldn't stop thinking about what had transpired and how I'm feeling right now.
It's all too similar to how I'd think and behave in the past.
S: So what you're alluding to is the possibility of relapsing back to your old ways?
R: I'd say that's about right.
S: We both already know that you have social anxiety and bear a rather high level of social adversity.
The steps you've taken toward reintegrating yourself into forming and maintaining relationships as well as being a part of society is noted.
Believe it or not, but I have been thinking about how you were in the past and have been pondering a question that's been nagging at me for a while now.
R: Oh? Do tell, then.
S: Have you considered, excluding your social anxiety, that you have always bore a sense of animosity against the society you live in?
R: (Thinking for a moment) Readily enough, I'm inclined to say yes.
S: And why is that?
R: Do keep in mind that I have absolutely nothing against those whom I interact with, especially strangers and those whom I barely know, on a daily basis; like me,
they're a citizen predisposed to learn and follow the rules and policies of the society we live in from a very young age, bestowed by those who possess social, political, and financial power.
To be precise, it's the norms created by said rules and policies that I abhor.
I'm not sure what others think,
but I personally find it strangely ludicrous to elect individuals who're then given the means to implement set pathways that are based on beliefs and ideologies of their own views,
or of the views of those who're close.
S: Any society is built on the foundation of order, so it's only natural that a large community of citizens will come together to assess who exactly has the characteristics of a leader,
and how many should be chosen. When a society is in its infancy, humans feel compelled to elect those who're capable of leading in hopes of being lifted out of a dark age.
R: Either out of common sense or desperation. I think that's where many people fall short.
S: How do you mean?
R: I mean that people who're willing to elect one or more individuals to direct the rest as they see fit, primitively speaking,
have failed to sufficiently see their personal worth for what it is; at the same time, they also lack the necessary faith in their other companions.
S: In other words, they view themselves as, at the least, being much less useful,
ergo they redirect the mantle of responsibility onto those whom they perceive to be more capable for the circumstances at the time, correct?
R: That's right.
S: Then what would you propose? Since it's clear that you have a great distaste in institutional hierarchies.
R: Unfortunately, I have nothing to propose as of now. I'd have to do research on my own time and develop a reasonable proposition.
S: That's fair enough; but for the sake of temporarily satisfying my question, how do you think humans should go about in correctly ruling and regulating themselves?
R: You've essentially answered the question yourself with the end of that statement.
Us humans ought to rule ourselves and pursue our own happiness, not succumb to the rule of a single or group entity that's perceived to have power.
S: It sounds to me that you favor anarchy.
R: I don't question that the average person would say the same; however, I vaguely remember a lecture that underlines an idea, a call to action,
in which one must learn to conquer themselves if they hope to change the world.
S: And what's that?
R: Individual sovereignty.