Hypothetical Flaws

Blame it on a desire to raise my severely low threshold for dumb, but I’ve been trying to flip my perspective more than usual lately. 

Maybe he wasn’t trying to steal a whole sleeve of plastic cups, but needed water and didn’t want to bother you. 

No, surely she was checking the time on her phone, not texting during savasana. 

What if he can’t actually speak and keeps pointing at an empty glass because he can’t say the words and then you will really be an asshole won’t you?

I read a quote on [insert intelligent dialogue journal here because I’m dead-sure I got it off of Instagram] that says, “There is not a person you wouldn’t love if you knew their story.” So I’ve been trying it out. I’ve been creating backstories for people as if I’m creating an army of my own, personal, flawed humans. You know, the ones I can root for. 

But “root for” and “love” seem ages apart and I’m increasingly unconvinced that the quote’s author has any idea how the world works. I keep getting distracted by questions because there has to be an exception. 

What about Hitler? We know Hitler’s story and he’s a piece of shit. I don’t love him. 

I also don’t love the kid who made fun of me in third grade and told me I couldn’t draw a face on the marshmallow in the science demonstration. I don’t care what happened to him up to that point, he can go kick rocks. 

So, Insta inspo, I get where you’re going with this, but it’s just impractical. Then again, I’m not all that good with hypothetical situations. 

My mom likes to ask everyone what their “fantasy car” is. Which sounds like a flying car or time travel, or possibly something inappropriate, but she means if you could have any car in the world, what would it be? 

“But, what am I doing?” I ask. 

“What do you mean?”

“Like, am I me right now or do I have a fantasy life to go along with my car?”

“I suppose either, does it matter?”

“Well, do I have kids? Do I need to transport things? Do I live in the mountains?”

“OK, fine, say it’s you right now then.”

“Where would I park it though?”

“Anywhere, you’d figure it out.”

“But see, this is why I don’t have a car at all. So why would I get one all of a sudden?” 

“Oh my God, Kate, just WHICH ONE WOULD YOU WANT?”

The thing is, it’s never just a simple car. It’s never a simple person. It’s a convoluted story of the bumps and tears that got you where you are, sitting in a Corolla, and flipping somebody off. 

After all, there’s not a story you wouldn’t love if it was told correctly. Just maybe one not told by me when I have to make a decision about things I will never have.