One day Greta the banjo player, who for years had tried to change the band for the better, realized her idea of better was someone else’s idea of worse. She began to see it reproduced everywhere she turned her gaze, it wasn’t just music circles. If you call someone good or bad, is to at the same time call out how you view yourself. To argue someone is wrong is to also say you are right; as if the mind was a binary machine. She shared this insight with DJ Blipz, her best friend but Bliptz became indignant and called Greta factually wrong and foolish. She pontificated a little more yet Greta mostly heard Blitz parroting the very position she tried to convey to her friend. Greta felt like she had woken up in an episode of The Twilight Zone.
At the next band meeting, when Isley the fiddle player, complained about their stage costumes, she felt within herself a great need to dismiss his perspective. These costumes were her only opportunity to wear sequins and clogs godammit, but she kept her impulse in check, like a science experiment. She kept on testing, day to day, interaction to interaction. How strong was the need inside a person to engage in conflict with everyone around? Quite strong as it turned out. She kept finding herself in the midst of an argument or heated discussion about nothing important and then suddenly recall she was trying to not go down this road. Yet, here she was defending jelly beans or advocating for light rail transit or practically fighting with the mailman over her view of proper clawhammer technique.
That’s when she had the epiphany. All this arguing, this automatic, chemical reaction between everybody is just like her own inner life. Wasn’t she fighting within herself from thought to thought, ever since she could remember? I’ll wake up at 7, no 7:15 no 7:30. You should have got up at 7, no I’m too tired, you’re lazy, no I’m not, yes you are…. plinky plink-key plink-key plink-key pow; duelling banjos.