The Steve Perspective

Reading Time: 3 or 4 minutes

In my 20's I was genuinely angry at absolutely everything.

I now believe that this was some sort of defence mechanism to manage a deep state of depression I had been in during my teens, where I'd walk around on the verge of tears half of the time, wondering what the hell life was supposed to be about. Being angry was better than being sad. It felt powerful.

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I don't want pity for this, I'm just setting context for the books.

Sure, we could blame my parents for not noticing, but compassion wasn't their strong point. Besides, these days I prefer to take responsibility for everything in my life as blaming others gets you nowhere, except perhaps to a state of anger again.

Instead, these two people were gifted with highly developed trait of narcissism and the skill of pathological lying. I unfortunately inherited both to a certain degree, and unfortunately the lying was expressed more as an internal denial of the narcissism than an external attempt to manipulate others. This was a toxic recipe in an adolescent for sure, but the restriction on external lying at least limited the damage in some ways.

The anger didn't show up as violence either (much), it was mostly arguments and combativeness, but there was a constant sense of rage flowing through my veins that would show up in various situations. Mostly the type that you regret later, and mostly where there were few physical repercussions. The tantrums of a coward, essentially.

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What this all led to was a perspective where my "hypothesis of humans" was that everyone in the world was an idiot. They were just mindlessly floating through life with no real sense of self, no real purpose, no real utility to anyone except the fast food restaurants they ate at, or the entertainment platforms they subscribed to. Like zombies (See, I told you this was all context setting).

Sure, there were outliers among the masses, the type of people who seem to be able grind through granite to achieve remarkable things, but these served as evidence of the hypothesis in contrast to the mob, not refutations. People being generally useless allowed for their devaluation, which is a terrible perspective to have.

This hypothesis was the genesis of Steve. The primary protagonist in Fragments. He presents as apathetic to the world, not even bothered to watch it burn, but his descriptions of the drones and his diary entries reveal his true opinions. The world, and people in general, disgust him. It wasn't apathy, it was hate.

Now to be clear, this was all an intentional exaggeration of a certain perspective about the world. And, I was writing a book, so artistic licence etc. My own life and perspectives weren't that interesting, but they served as a foundation to exaggerate from, and it appears to have been fruitful.

This utilitarian view of humanity outlined above, this "hypothesis of humans", is inherent throughout this first volume. By finishing it just before my son was born it allowed me to capture it fairly cleanly as I can't imagine writing it now. I can't connect to that person anymore the way I used to be able to. As a result, the events that unfold from then on and the transition between the first and second stages of the character development arc play out.

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