Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Microstory 1013: Floyd

No two people could be any more different than Viola Woods and I. Well, I guess on a personal level, we probably had a lot in common. After all, we grew up in the same town, and knew all the same people. But she was rich and loved, and I’m lower middle class, and invisible. I’m surprised I’m even on your list. I’ve never shown up for picture day, I don’t have any friends, and teachers often forget to call my name when they’re taking attendance. I have a pretty decent group of friends in online chatrooms, but I don’t really connect with people in real life. I have a lot of anxiety, and not the kind that everyone is diagnosed with so they can get prescription marijuana. I’m the real deal. I was nervous and depressed before it was cool. My perspective is quite different than what you’ll find in the rest of this school, so if you want to get an honest idea of who Viola Woods was, you’ve come to the right place. You see, I identify as asexual, which means I don’t experience sexual attraction towards others. I have an idea of what sexuality is, and it’s not that I don’t feel anything, but it’s not anywhere near what other people feel. Most people probably think that the brain is pretty basic. Your eyes see things around it, determine what they are, and draw conclusions. Your memories are stored in a single place, and your motor skills in another. But it’s far more complicated than that, and there are a lot of oddly specific functions that can be either enhanced or impeded, depending on an individual’s neurochemistry. My therapist thinks it’s possible that I would enjoy sex if I were to experience it personally. But my parents are extremely strict and religious, so there wouldn’t be a lot of opportunity for me to...uh, explore. I’ve also never really tried very hard to steal magazines from Lulu’s gas station, like the other boys, so there’s that.

The reason I may not exactly be totally asexual is because I have a severe case of something call prosopagnosia. The part of my brain that’s meant to interpret faces, and only faces, does not work properly. The better I know a person, the more likely I am to recognize them, but I couldn’t point out my own mother if she dressed like a goth at a football game. I know the people around me based on voices, and context clues. I can tell you that someone has two eyes, two ears, a nose, and a mouth. And I can tell that they’re supposed to be unique, but they don’t appear unique to me. So that’s what it really comes down to. I’m not attracted to people, because they just all look the same to me. An interesting side effect to this is that I have a pretty objective view of others. You would be surprised how much a person’s looks impacts other people’s thoughts on them. The truth is that Viola Woods was a good person. She was nice and caring to others, and she would likely have led a full and happy life. She was also flawed, a bit self-involved, and painfully normal. She was just like everyone else. Yeah, we’re all special in our own way, I get it. But there was nothing particularly astonishing about this one girl. You’re going to hear a lot of opinions about her over the course of your investigation, Alma. I just want you remember as it’s happening that all of these people are talking to you after her death occurred, and that death is going to have an effect on their words. No one is going to be totally honest with you, and no one is going to say anything they would have said if she were still alive, and this was just some random profile piece. If, when you’re done, you want a little extra perspective for those interviews, you may contact me again. I’m happy to help.

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