I’ve read that Heinlein said, “Specialization is for insects.”  While I could probably Google the exact quote, I know the implications have influenced me to learn a variety of talents.  I want to be somehow better than the bugs.  (It might be a hard contest. For one thing, they have four more legs than I do, which suggests right there that they might be sturdier if I were to try to find one an easy pushover.)  I want to do what humanity does best, and if all the old science fiction I’ve read is correct about that, that’s adapt.

The funny part is that if that’s our strength, we still don’t seem to like (or, in some cases, even accept) change.  It’s an inconvenience at  best when we amend our habits.  It’s worse when we’re trying to overcome our reflexes and instincts.

I’ve heard opposing arguments on those.  Some people think we should focus and train our natural tendencies to be the best they can be, and some think that we’re rational, thinking creatures that should be able to rule over our inner beasts, if you can excuse the comicbook theme of the scenario.  I think there’s definitely a middle ground, because some of our instincts are ground in by millions of years of very  handy evolution that can still serve us in a modern world, and some of them may be becoming more and more obsolete.

If you couple this with the theory that we learn based on repetition which leads us to make judgments based on acknowledgment of very few facts, you might see that we don’t have to change so much.  Because if it looks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, most of the time it is a duck.

Sometimes, of course, we’re wrong and it’s actually a martian.  But that’s another story.

I was reflecting on the way to my temp job about why I broke up with the Magster.   I think it’s because she had become so familiar with me that she hadn’t seen where I had changed.

It happens a lot with relationships.  Two people who just do it with shorthand, ignoring the little subtleties of growth.  The cues that they don’t catch.  Maybe I want cherry ice cream tonight, not chocolate.  Yeah, I like chocolate, and I’m happy you got the ice cream, but… it’s not what I’m really in the mood for, and no, I don’t want an argument, so I’ll just eat the chocolate.  I can’t say anything without it becoming a big deal. And so on, and so forth.

It’s like answering the phone.  I announce the name of the company and my name.  And you don’t hear it.  You’re thinking of what you need to accomplish.  You might be a bit impatient, thinking that I need to hurry up so you can get to the person who can really help you.  I’m a stepping stone, a place in the path, the fool in the beginning of the journey.  If I’m the receptionist, you barely see me.  Maybe I’m part of the decor; unless there’s something extreme, like I shout at you that I want cherry, not chocolate, I am just scenery.

Maybe that’s where we were.  I mean, she asked for my help.  She recognizes my use as a tool.  She’s versatile in ways I’m not.  I’m an insect in a macrocosm I don’t entirely understand, and she’s not a duck, she’s a raptor.

I’m trying not to think of her on her knees in front of a demon.  I can’t explain how it makes me feel.  Angry.  Horny.  Betrayed.  Sad.  Happy.  Vengeful.  I feel too much for her.

I need a new girlfriend.  I want to say someone who isn’t part of this world, this one where we’re left like angry insects, insects who have very little options but to sting.

A duck quacks.

A raptor screams.

There’s a difference.  A clear difference.

I wasn’t expecting her to call or anything.  I kept my cell phone in my pocket, half hoping she would. Noodling about, thinking of what I’d say.  Should we try again?  Should we maybe go on another date?  Is there anything to salvage?

I almost missed her.

No, not Maggie.  The woman walking in, looking lost and confused.  My kind of girl.