Sunday, April 13, 2014

Ritual Interaction

This lead into the more fascinating details of exactly what was going on with the Project. He was young (all of 20), had recently moved out of his parent's house, and was currently living in the House for Wayward Gamersrun by the Balance—and not integrating well. He wasn't autistic, but he was also not socially aware, and basically was good at pushing the buttons of everyone around him without intention, and after having done so, not either realizing or seeming to demonstrate any other interest about what had been done. It was almost as if the fact that actions could have equal and opposite reactions was not so much a mystery as a non-event. And consequence of an action was not interesting in real-time as it simply did not enter his purview of the world. And, the world, for the Project, was almost entirely virtual.

This lead the Bard, the Balance, and I into an examination of action. Because truly, the three of us are far more interesting than the Project on his best day.

“It’s the unexamined aspect. Action without thought.” The Bard sat back and took in the Project.

“Yes, that just fucking annoys me,” said the Balance.

“It’s interaction ritual.” The Bard said, causing the Balance to slap the table.

“Yes, yes, I fucking hate that. I hate that we have to participate in interaction ritual.”

The Project looked back and forth between all of is. I wish I could say he was confused, or looked confused, but he just seemed to be taking it all in.

“Interaction ritual,” explained the Balance, “is the unconscious interaction that is prompted by a situation. Generally done so one does not lose face. For example, if I were to walk in on a stranger in the bathroom I might pull away and say ‘I’m sorry, excuse me’ etc, but the reality is that I don’t mean it so much as that it is required by the situation. I don’t want to make the other person uncomfortable and I want to allow them to save face. Also, it’s fucking stupid. I’m not sorry, I have no reason to apologize, there is no purpose in it. Why can’t we just confront it? If you feel shock, or shame, why not just talk about it? Interaction ritual is bullshit.”

“And it lacks authenticity. There is no real interaction but a prearranged series of actions that are not reflected upon.” The Bard continued.

“This is who we are.” I picked up the thread. “Talking about life, reality. It doesn’t bother me when the Balance calls me a filthy whore, because, it’s true, but it’s also real and authentic. It flies in the face what might be acceptable in polite conversation, but then again so does talking about pussy over dinner. This is just who we are: present, real.”

The Project continued to look between us. He had little to add to the conversation, for any number of reasons. We talked a bit more before deciding that we should all probably go sleep since we had an early morning tomorrow, each of us promised to talk to each other on the morrow as much as possible.

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