Here I am still chronicling my emotional well being through Philip K. Dick novels. I’m torn between telling myself to shut up and stop being a drama queen and diving into a full on crisis regarding empathy and my constant struggle to have some. Sympathy is really my problem. I can put myself in someone else’s shoes just fine, embrace, feel what they feel and all that – so a struggle for empathy isn’t truly my issue. It’s sympathy I don’t have. I won’t pity others, I won’t feel sorry for your plights. I will consistently tell you to suck it up – I might also slap your ass and say “Go Team.”
The question is, should I pity and sympathize? I was always taught those things were the most condescending things you could feel for another person. But not feeling them seems to make me crass, blunt to the point of tactless, and generally unpleasant to those in my outer affiliations as well as my inner most circles.
“Tell me if I start to sound bitchy, because I don’t understand why ________ can’t get their shit together,” I told my Em over coffee. I know how they feel, I understand the issues, the struggle, and still I’ve been there and I survived and I’m not any good with my feelings… I just don’t think anyone anywhere holds the license to struggle more than another, so stop whining and figure it out. (Take note that I am completely aware that I am currently – and often – whining about this.)
“Ok, you’re being a bitch,” my faithful friend told me.
Chuck’s wife, Mary, in Clans of the Alphane Moon is a terrible person. I relate to her more than anyone in any of his novels so far. So much so that when Chuck starts wanting to murder her, I started to tear up – again – because I see that she deserves his murderous thoughts, but I can’t see how she could possibly want anything different than what she wants. She’s unfair, unforgiving, horrible for sending her daughter away, terrible in almost every way. And I understand her.
In all this struggle for a empathetic balance, I am not sad that she might get murdered, I’m sad that she is the character I identify with. Am I a shrew? I don’t think so. But I could be. It’s probably silly for me to take Philip K. Dick novels so personally. Shouldn’t they be genre sci-fi candy to binge read? No. For some reason, every one is something I feel deeply about. I run on two speeds… psychotically passionate for no reason and completely numb.
I dare you to read Philip K. Dick and feel numb. I dare you.