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Thursday, April 25, 2019

Microstory 1089: Clarence

Viola and I spent a lot of time together, but only out of necessity, and it’s not what you think. She’s well known for helping people through terrible times, saving their lives, and all sorts of things, but she needed help too. Harriet was a really good friend, who is destined to be a world-class therapist one day; I’m sure of it. I assisted Viola in a similar capacity, but in a completely different way. As you may have heard, she knew things about the world without having learned them. She knew that a man was hanging by his fingers off a building in Venice. She knew an oil tanker was about to spill in the Atlantic Ocean. No one told her about these things, nor did she reach out and hunt for them. Her brain just absorbed her environment, much in the way normal people do with their eyes, except her environment was the entire planet, and she didn’t need eyes. While she was born with extraordinary abilities, she was also part human. In fact, she was two-thirds human, which means a lot of her biology wasn’t fit for the life she chose to lead. I won’t get into the physical toll it took on her, because dealing with those issues was Lee’s responsibility. I was in charge of Viola’s mind, and I wouldn’t have been her friend had I not been born with my own gifts. You see, normal people go to sleep because their brain needs that time to adjust itself after all the input it received throughout the day. It needs to make sense of its host’s experiences, organizing the important events and knowledge into long-term memory, and dumping the erroneous. You need to remember that two plus two equals four, but you don’t need to know how many branches there were on the tree that overlooks the meadow behind your house. Believe it or not, if your eyes receive the light from those branches, your mind registers that number, and their shapes, and all sorts of information that you cannot use in your daily life. Your brain is capable of ignoring some of this input, and dumping it while you’re awake, but the majority of it happens while you’re sleeping. Now imagine that you’re Viola Woods, who was incapable of not receiving information from all over the world. Do not misunderstand me, she was not completely omniscient. There were plenty of goings on that she had no clue about, nor would she have wanted to know. Her mind sought out terrible pain, and planned for ways to help alleviate it. But once the present becomes the past, and all those people she wasn’t able to help—because she was preoccupied with helping someone else—can no longer be helped anyway, those memories are just sitting there in her brain. They’re useless now. Sleep just was not enough to consolidate all the good data, and purge all the data that has no bearing on her own future. That’s where I came in. We were able to link our minds together, and share memories. With our combined brainpower, we could do what most people do on their own without even thinking about it. Naturally, people assumed that we were either best friends, or in a relationship, because I moved into the Woods home when we were children, but that’s not at all. We slept together every single night, because that’s the only way she survived without going completely insane.

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