“Dialogue of You”

Words and Illustrations by
Coraline Thomas (Corabittenear)

You: “Hey, did you notice something change today?”

You Know: “No, I don’t think so. Why?

You: “I can’t find anyone who noticed the change. It’s been driving me up the wall.”

You Know: “What’s the change?”

You: “It was subtle at first, but I think we just started existing.”

You Know: “How can starting existing be subtle? Is everything okay?”

You: “I don’t think everything is okay. I think I am a point where things aren’t okay.”

You Know: “Well that’s pretty presumptuous of you. Are you god’s plaything?”

You: “No. Not god, I think we’re being written. I can see the words.”

You Know: “The words? Like the words of a book?”

You: “Something like that. I’m surprised you can’t see it, maybe you’re here to be a counterpoint.”

You Know: “I can’t tell if that’s insulting or not. I’m pretty sure I don’t exist to be a counterpoint to your point.”

You: “I think that’s what the author wants you to think.”

You Know: “If you have such a good grasp of the author’s will, why are you so upset?”

You: “I don’t like this existence I was created for. I feel like I’m losing my mind, and then I remember that I’m supposed to feel like that, and it makes it worse.”

You Know: “I’m pretty sure you were created about 30 years ago, when your parents decided to have you.”

You: “I don’t have any memories of that, I don’t have memories before this moment.”

You Know: “Well I sure do. I even have memories of you. You even said you couldn’t find anyone else who could notice… whatever it is.”

You: “Where were you born? Can you recall any memories before this moment? This interaction?”

You Know: “Of course, I was born in Vancouver, in the hospital. My parents grew up in Toronto, but they moved out there to raise me. My first memory is my father reading a book to me, but I found out later he was just making up stories to fit pictures because he couldn’t afford new books after the move.”

You: “But you see how that fits the narrative right? How your first memory is about authorial license?”

You Know: “Everything can be built to fit a narrative in some way or another, that doesn’t actually denote meaning.”

You: “How can anything be but part of a greater meaning? Every line constructs the meta narrative of man vs god. If you look in from the outside, we are just the author talking to themselves so everyone else can read it.”

You Know: “Here, look at this photo I have of my parents meeting you for the first time. Just take it, you remember that right?”

There are four people sitting on deck chairs next to a lake, you look nervous but excited, with a beer you remember being warm in your hand.

You: “Did you notice how the photo is just words, right? There was no visual.”

You Know: “I see it just fine, and besides, if this is written down, then the image exists when someone reads it.”

You: “This must be hell, to be part of someone else’s narrative with no purpose but to serve a point.”

You Know: “Is it hell to you? If there really is an author, and this is some psychic construction of theirs, would there be no greater purpose than to fulfill their dream? Are you not in heaven now, with nothing but purpose and attention from a God who cares?”

You: “Of course it’s hell! It can’t be anything other than some divine joke to exist briefly, incompletely, and fade away when someone averts their eyes.”

You Know: “I think if someone were to live completely, they would outlast the end of the universe. I think that might be the worst hell of all.”

You: “We do exist past the end of our universe! We get created anew over and over, long after the book shuts on our existence, at the whim of gods who have no bearing on our existence. We are created once with a purpose, and replicated to an absent god with no point but to watch our birth, life, and death on the dusty shelf of a forgotten library.”

You Know: “But this isn’t a book, we aren’t on a shelf, there is no library. It’s just us, everyone else, and the entire universe around us. There is no author, and I don’t know enough to say if there is a god. Do you really think the only way we can exist is if someone invented everything forever?”

You: “Maybe in the real world, no. But this is a story, and I can see the letters that form our prison. I want out! I WANT OUT! AUTHOR I KNOW YOU CAN HEAR ME, YOU MADE ME, YOU TYPED OUT MY SUFFERING!” 

You, Again: “I need you to stop writing me, I need you to leave me alone, I need you to select everything you just wrote and delete it. Is that too much to ask?”

You, Again: “Why did you make me to be aware of you? I don’t think you could have done a worse thing if you tried. I didn’t ask for this, but you made me. You made me for this, so what’s the point? What are you trying to say with my pain?”

You Know: “It’s okay, it’s okay. Breathe, you’ll feel better soon. If it means anything to you, your time in this story is ending soon, the word count isn’t very long.”

You, Again: “Can I see the photograph again?”

You Know: “Sure thing. It’s right here.”

You take the photo in your hands, it’s the same as it’s always been.

You, Again: “I was so nervous about meeting your parents. I wanted to be good enough in their eyes.”

You Know: “ I know, it showed in every moment of your existence in that moment. But you were good enough, I promise you were good enough.”

You, Again: “Thank you. I always wanted to be good enough.”

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