incel 15 - ffs move on

Sad Keanu Reeves sitting on a bench being consoled by Yotsuba, a 5 year old girl with green hair

The incel sees his grade school crushes in his dreams every few months or so, which he attributes to going in and out of similar headspaces as he was in back then. More precisely, he chooses to reopen his fixation not on the people themselves, but his projected image of the ideal partner loosely based on them that has sprouted legs and taken on a life of its own. He just uses the name and face as shorthand at this point.

The dreams usually follow the same premise; they are mid-conversation at some liminal school setting with other classmates for a minute or so, and then it’s over. The topics in themselves aren’t noteworthy but rather the uncanny ability for his brain to reproduce their (often) eccentric speech patterns and trains of thought is what leaves him with residual melancholy as he starts his morning. His feelings throughout these dreams can be best described as cautious entrancement and stifled jealousy, which, as far as his brain chemistry and hormones are concerned, are very real and also linger on for about an hour or so after waking up.

The fix to stop having these dreams is mundane enough - stop indulging in and entertaining degenerate themes and narratives - yet using the word “fix” like that implies that these feelings are defects that offer no merit, which somehow seems like a waste. In a sense, he feels like he is reconnecting with a lost part of himself and with an experience he has left unresolved for a long time out of fear.

But now that he’s opened this can of worms, the incel acknowledges some peculiarities in his reasoning.

One crush in particular is the only person he never wishes to see again, not out of rancor or spite, but rather embarrassment and self-consciousness. He sees college crushes, coworkers, and clubmates after their respective fallouts and that is all fine and dandy, but he has a good laugh rather candidly with his friend about running and hiding behind a bush if he even runs into this specific person in public. The reasoning is simple; she’s the person the incel makes the most indirect advances at while also being the person he admires the most.

But what are the chances of actually running into her? Not zero, but pretty much zero. They live in the same city, but their friend groups don’t overlap in the slightest and there are enough NPCs in the city to simply fade into the background and pretend not to notice. But still, the idea of being accountable to his past self and being put on the spot to keep up appearances lingers in his mind at night when he can’t sleep.

Just to put things into perspective, even if the incel gets closer physically to a coworker or a classmate, he recalls feeling ten times more vulnerable when talking to his crush. Simply put, he sees the former as lesser than him and he sees the former as greater than him and better suited to discerning his intention. There are more stakes, it feels like. Similarly, even if he ends up conversing with a coworker an order of magnitude more often than his crush, he has a much greater appreciation for the latter’s vibe and input on life, granted, even if most of that came from (consentual) observation instead of direct conversation. If he were to compare two events - going to watch a scary movie with a girl now versus quietly studying together in grade school - the silence comes across to him as infinitely more intimate than whatever script or role he felt like he has to enact with his coworker to advance the agenda of sex.

Of course, the limerence plays a big part. People slowly but surely grow infatuated with their crushes, and they are sometimes the only girl that give people like him the light of day. But the incel never quite gets to that same level with his coworkers. Now later in life, he is very much aware of his warped paradigm of inputting choices into a dating simulator or a slot machine with more odds of losing than winning, and understandably, never really quite feels again that existential need to be enveloped by somebody else that the popmusics talk about - definitely a case where ignorance (and innocence) is bliss.

The incel’s judgments of the two are also worth bringing up; from the get go, he knows his coworkers and classmates are promiscuous, aimless, and complacent based on what they tell him about their past experiences, whereas he always places his crushes on a pedestal of purity and sensibleness, and infer that anyone that would give a headass like him the time of day have to be acting out of genuine interest. Cue every male reading wincing at the word “pedestal,” and with good reason - it’s not true or sustainable.

People’s throwaway politeness can go really far. Who would have thought?