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The Seditionary Cult
Chapter III – Part III
“So, yeah, I don’t know. Just sitting here right now.” Laila took a deep breath and a sip of her coffee. The Heath Studio Mug in opaque white created a special contrast with coffee. It always warmed to the perfect hand-held temperature. She had intentionally taken a few of the mugs from Elliots' place, maybe she would return them, maybe she wouldn't.
“I guess I’m feeling pretty vulnerable. There’s a voice in my head telling me that I’m completely mad. That it’s not worth making a change. That I’m rash. Those voices build into a seditionary cult. They're efficient at turning me against myself. They work against this more honest and quiet voice that’s further inside. A voice that's harder to hear. So yeah, I guess I feel a weird vulnerability I haven’t felt before trying to pay attention to this more peaceful voice and listen to what it has to say. Maybe I didn’t need to call Elliot a bitch. Maybe I didn’t need to kiss Ian. Whatever.”
“When did you kiss Ian?” Daisie asked with a droning intonation.
“I walked out the front door and he was just standing there and I felt like it, so I did.” Laila laughed and continued “I think that was the quiet voice.”
“Jesus” Daisie replied, setting her cigarette into the ashtray on the coffee table. “And then?”
“I liked it” Laila laughed again, feeling powerful. “I think he liked it too. It felt good. He was gentle and kind. I haven’t felt that in a long time. He said, Jesus I can’t believe he said this, he goes ‘I don’t know what this is, but let’s find out together’ and I pretty much died in his arms” Laila looked up at Daisie who was staring at her with a blank face and wide eyes.
“Wow, the spell of a Softboi is strong.” Daisie smiled. Laila laughed.
“And yeah, I don’t know, whatever, maybe this is just me leaving Elliot and shedding some skin, growing into a new version of myself, maybe Ian isn’t even part of the story.” Laila paused and took a deeper breath and closed her eyes. “I’m thankful for the way he thinks and the words he shared.” She opened her eyes and looked at Daisie. Laila pulled her knees up onto the chair and looked across Guerrero Street. It was almost eleven in the morning and the fog was starting to clear. Laila’s flannel, extra large and once her mother's, was laying over the side of her legs as a kind of blanket. She felt cozy and secure. Party from the way Daisie helped her feel seen, partly from the growing comfort she had in owning her decisions. Good or bad. Healthy or unhealthy. They were all a part of who she was.
“I was reading this article the other day,” Daisie began, “about how mammals evolved a nervous system. You know how, in like our high school psychology classes, the triune brain model was taught? That our neocortex is the most evolved form and our lizard brain controls our survival instincts in our brain stem, and it's super strong. I guess it’s all a bit more complicated than that. So, maybe your brain isn’t an onion with a little lizard inside” Daisie smiled. “Maybe all those voices, sedition and all, have a place and could be coming from somewhere healthy.”
“Yeah” Laila replied. “Maybe it's just all contingent? Maybe I'm only ever what I’ve experienced?" After a few seconds of silence, Laila continued. "Something else that sticks out about last night, I felt like I could see the difference between want and need in my conversation with Ian. Are they intertwined in a healthy relationship? Remember that Joan Didion thing about how she and John would never walk Central Park together because they liked different routes? Elliot would never do that. He would never let me go and be me. I felt that from Ian somehow. I don’t know. I don’t know what it’s like not to be needed. Kinda blame my mom.”
“I think I know what you mean” Daise replied, mustering all the honesty she could to meet Laila here.
“It’s all just an equality of suffering anyways” Laila replied. “Maybe material comfort is the point and I fucked up and shouldn’t have done Elliot like that.”
Feels good to get back on this story. This little scene is still fun to work on, but starting to feel a bit exhausted. Not sure what will happen to shake it up next week…
Your Brain Is Not An Onion
Found this article after taking a rock walk class yesterday where the instructor centered the teacher on the duality of the mind. It was about the white wolf and dark wolf that all live inside us. The article present this model (c and d) as the evolution of our nervous system, instead of the linear approach the triune model affords (a and b).
I think that’s all for today folks.