Dec 15, 2018 6:16 PM
Sadness and Aether in Milliways
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"We play hockey there too when it's an option. But currently it isn't so we're doing soccer, which is another sport."

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"These games aren't translating, so I'm guessing they aren't very much like skirmish or gladiating."

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"Probably not. Those sound like they're fighting games, and hockey and soccer aren't."

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"We have other games for little kids, but I think people Riley's age have started learning to fight. Maybe you have fewer monsters and it's less of a life skill."

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"We don't have monsters."

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"None at all? Gosh."

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"I guess it might depend on what you mean by 'monster'? There are dangerous animals in the world, but we don't call them monsters. And we don't have any dangerous animals in California, which is where Riley lives."

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"What's California like?"

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"Hot and dry. San Francisco is also busy and crowded and loud and confusing and foggy. And there are lots of homeless people there. The food is weird. There's not enough open space, and there are cars everywhere, and it's really hilly so it's hard to walk anywhere."

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"Sounds inconvenient, but maybe you'd list inconvenient things about anywhere you lived because you're a Sadness?"

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"I guess so. Minnesota was really nice, but I didn't really appreciate it until Riley's parents decided to leave."

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"Makes sense. - does it make any sense to ask how you feel about being a Sadness?"

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"I'm proud of being a sadness."

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"Huh. Why?"

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"I'm an important part of Riley. And I'm- who I am. And I used not to like myself so now I try to like myself a lot."

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"Progress!"

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Sadness smiles and nods.

"Yeah."

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"I have no idea what to say to Riley. I'm sort of trying to figure out what I'd want to ask about if someone claimed to be speaking to my younger self on behalf of my autonomous-person emotion of sadness, but she'll probably have completely different questions than I would have."

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"I don't know what she'll ask, it's not something she's thought about before. We could ask the other emotions before we contact Riley-as-a-whole and try to figure it out? She'll want to know whether other peoples' minds are like hers, but we don't know that.

I want to make her worry about bad stuff happening to imaginary people. But I don't think she can stop imagining bad things entirely. And trying could be bad for her."

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"Yeah, it could. A subtle artist might be able to change it so she can imagine things the way I do, but it would be so dangerous to try and I'm the only one around..."

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"Oh. Why would it be dangerous?"

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"...because it would involve messing with her mind and nobody even has practice doing it since nobody imagines things that way where I'm from."

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"Yeah.

And I guess there isn't a way for you to get practice safely, either."

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"Nope. It's a problem with telepathic arts, all the practice has to be on someone. The safe way is very tentatively with someone who has experience supervising so they can undo anything you do."

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