Prompt: Humans have become increasingly specialized such that eighty percent are now on an autism-like spectrum with one exceptional talent coupled with mediocrity at best in all other endeavors: Reddit Writing Prompt Thread
I awaken and cringe at the awareness of a new day. It is not that being unconscious is much better, but at least during sleep the enormity of ‘it all’ could be fictitious, which is the dream I relish most.
My subconscious dutifully attempts to process that which cannot be processed due to sheer and unforgiving volume. “Good try, old chap,” I sarcastically think to myself with an inner chuckle. Everything I’ve read on the subject tells me that humor is necessary for coping, but that advice is intended for people who are generating emotions that only feel like the weight of the world. I like the chapters that say that sometimes you just have to talk it out with someone who understands. Well, I would love to tell someone all about it if I could manage to produce a comprehensible sentence.
After fifteen minutes of trying to convince myself that I could sleep for a little while longer, I lug myself up from my sleeping pad and make my way to the lavatory to attend to the morning necessities of this dreadful flesh sack.
The room is dark and cool and saturated with perfect silence. An erratic organizational system is marginally apparent with the only discernible theme being creature comfort and a marked lack of bright color or light. Rich, thick textiles drape the edges of the sleeping pad and where they meet the wall, the layers of art begin. One piece stands out among the others. He’s standing in the center of a thick, mahogany frame and is objectively beautiful and scantily dressed. His eyes are haunting and have a tendency to either capture people such that they lose awareness of space-time or reel away from what they seem to know. He was created by a majority who’s ‘gift’ is visual art, specifically painting. If only she had any command of language, I could send a note thanking her for bringing him to life.
After my lowly base needs are met, I dedicate the next two hours to my morning em-balance routine. Recently it’s been a bit of mind-clear, body-stretch, and body-move. With this, along with my more extended evening em-balance routine, I can complete my service on most days.
Most majorities can function independently with no more than the basic minority-provided Majority Support Systems, if they need them at all. Common sense dictates not mixing incompatible ‘gifts’ among majority life-partners and the idea of a majority working outside of their ‘gift’ is laughable to most. Some of them long to endeavor elsewhere despite the known difficulty, but most keep it to themselves unless they are passing as a minority.
I know what it feels like to have a ‘gift’ and be functional enough to choose, but since day one, there has been no chance of me passing off as anything but what I am. I was born with what they call the ‘Gift of Permeable Sense Boundaries, Uncontrollable Type, Class IV.’ Like most gift classifications, the name isn’t completely accurate, as most of us can discern between sources and focus well enough to effectively reverse-emote. I am the current working Regional Empath of 3b.275.
I gather the nerve to subject myself to another day’s work and with a click of the lock and a turn of the handle I open the door to my workspace adjacent to my sensory-controlled living environment. I stagger slightly as I acclimate to the morning light streaming through the floor-to-ceiling windows along with the region’s morning struggles. Immediately feeling guilty over my selfish desire to stay inside, I get to work and am relieved, feeling immediately that there are no Level IX-X situations to report to Emergency Intervention Services. Starting with those people currently at Level VIII, I diligently work to help them achieve and maintain their personal Level of Acceptable Function while constantly reassessing demand as the people go through the natural ups and downs of their day. The region is down to Level IV and below by the time I need to start my evening em-balance routine. My Class I-III Local Empaths take shifts to cover maintenance for the night in their respective localities as I gladly step inside and feel exponentially lighter upon hearing the lock click back into place.
Today, as much as any day, I yearn to feel the understanding that is achieved by sharing yourself with another as my differently-gifted majorities and the minorities do. I feel their loads lighten when another understands and accepts their nature and experience, yet their relief I feel is not my own. I do not remember tolerating the sensation of direct human or mammalian interaction and am restricted to reading and writing to communicate. Most empaths do not maintain stimulating galleries or libraries due to the perceived increased risk of a sensory comatose episode or, worse, an uncontrolled reverse-emote event. Then again, most empaths fail to survive past adolescence or to provide much service in adulthood. The layers of human emotion on my walls center on the knowing man within the mahogany frame. He with the eyes that ensnare or revolt hold within them all the possibilities and depravities of the human condition and is the closest thing I will ever have to being known by another as others are known to me. And once in a while, as I float between consciousness and unconsciousness, I feel that I may be loved.