Monday, October 16, 2017

Penelope, stop feeding the trolls.

I sit with my feet up on my desk. Reclining in my comfy task chair. Clicking the mouse, occasionally hammering away at the wireless keyboard in my lap. From time to time I cease paying any attention at all to the task I've set before myself this evening. During those times, I prowl the internet. Fangs free, mind open, seeking to engage the best and brightest minds available about the great questions of our time.

Instead? I find myself sliding into yet another debate about something rather stupid. I'm arguing about gun control, or fiat currency, or libertarianism with some poor bastard who's no smarter than my neighbors' German Shepherd.

I eventually grow annoyed, agitated, my feet find their way under my chair, my back arches. The muscles in my neck tense and I begin to hammer away.

Spilling Goddess's own truth at seventy words per minute. The mechanical switches of my keyboard clattering away. As I compose a symphony of truth violating the temporary silence of our home office.

He turns to me. Touches me gently on the shoulder.

"Penelope, stop feeding the trolls," he says.

"You haven't been reading what I've been typing, you don't' know what I'm talking about," I say.

"I can tell, by the sound of your typing. You're arguing with stupid people, about stupid things, we both know that's pointless," he says.

I carefully, consider my options. Weigh each possible reply. Perhaps a bit of ultraviolence might bring him around, make him understand my position? But then, someone, me I suppose, would have to clean the bloodstains from the carpet. And as he's the only properly subservient, sentient creature in my household, I would have to dig his shallow grave myself. A potentially boring and tiresome task.

I have perhaps, even grown attached to this one, his patience, indulgent nature, and the placidity with which he endures my nature. The good enough humor with which endures the frequent storms of rage, the occasional blast of blind rage from the clear blue of my eyes, the essential bits which make me... Me.

"Roger," I say very carefully.

"Don't start darling, I'm not arguing with you. God knows what a pointless waste of time that is. I'm just asking you not to get all worked up and annoyed arguing with some idiot about how it's obvious the earth is not flat, or the gold standard. Or whatever else it is you're on about this time," he says, far too reasonably. Far too carefully, as if he's been rehearsing this performance in his head as if he knows his continued existence, hangs in the balance of well he delivers these next few lines.

"Dammit, stop that. You said you didn't read what I wrote," I say.

"It's always one of those things, or something equivalent, in terms of its stupidity. You're the sort of person who doesn't care if someone believes the utter, exact of what you do, as long as their reasons for believing those things make some kind of internal sense," he says.

I flash the sexiest, most charming, and most terrifying snarl that I can manage Hold that pose for a moment until I see I've clearly gotten his attention.

"Roger, my darling," I say carefully.

"I am having a discussion with some person, or entity which purports to be a person, and I'm not going to stop having this discussion until they have at least acknowledged the perfectly reasonable position which I am presenting to them,"

He takes a long, slow, deep breath. Clearly savoring this draught of air as if he knows it might be his last.

"Penelope, don't feed the trolls, don't get agitated with idiots on the internet, and then take it out on me," he says.

His manner, his air, the reasonable tone. The fact he's clearly trying to avoid his share of the blame of all that's wrong with this world annoy me for a moment, and again I consider his possible punishments each in turn.

"It's late, I'm going to bed, you should come with," he says.

It, our bed, is so warm, welcoming, comfortable. I'm not at all sure what sort of sorcery he's performed, how it's possible that curling up beneath those sheets is preferable to anything else. Yet somehow, it is.

"Roger, you do know how much Penelope loves you, Right?" I ask.

"Darling, have you stopped taking your meds?" He asks.

"Years ago my love," I answer,

"Who's Roger, and who is Penelope?" He asks, reasonably enough I suppose.

"Us, she is me, and he is you," I say.

"Uhm, then yes?" He says.

"Good. Come to bed darling," I breathe into his ear.
"Already there, Penelope," he says.

I shall leave you to imagine what came next.

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