A few days later, you’re lying in bed drifting off to sleep when a man suddenly bursts in through your window brandishing a gun. After that, you’re always looking over your shoulder. They beg, cajole, threaten to reinstate your prison sentence, but you stand firm.
Thinking quickly, you tell the gun to explode in his hands. Finally they transfer you to an easier assignment in the Moscow embassy.
The thought of doing any of those things sickens you now. You feel like any of those things would be a violation. The type where you hang out in a small cabin in the middle of the mountains and never talk to anybody.
You briefly try to become a therapist, but it turns out that actually knowing everything about your client’s mind is horrendously countertherapeutic. The only living thing you encounter is the occasional bear.
Moments before your bones are ground in two by its fierce beak, you turn back into a human. You need to turn into a sparrow again, but the hawk is still there, grabbing on to one of your legs, refusing to let go of its prize just because of this momentary setback. You see enough geology to give scientists back on Earth excitement-induced seizures for the nest hundred years, if only you were to tell them about it, which you don’t. Starvation is a physical danger, so it doesn’t bother you, though every so often you do like to relax and eat a nice warm meal. And the Chinese translation of their user manual makes several basic errors that anybody with an encyclopaedic knowledge of relative clauses in Mandarin should have been able to figure out.
Turns out there’s an excellent reason real sparrows don’t soar freely across the open sky all day. You head back to Earth less and less frequently now. You were a consultant, a good one, but you felt like mastering all human skills would make you better. The next day you go in to advise a tech company on how they manage the programmers, and you realize that not only are they managing the programmers badly, but the programmers aren’t even writing code very well. The layout of their office is entirely out of sync with the best-studied ergonomic principles.
If only there was a way to solve your problem by BEING VERY STRONG. You learn lots of surprising things about gender roles that you didn’t know before. You start to feel a deep sense of kinship with King Midas. You live alone with a bunch of cats who purr when you pet them, then hiss when you pet them again. You are immediately smitten by his BRUTE STRENGTH and ALPHA MALE BEHAVIOR. Your luck finally ends outside a bank in Kansas, when a whole squad of FBI agents ambushes you.
It seems that women like men who have BRUTE STRENGTH. You leave the bodybuilding circuit behind and start frequenting nightclubs, where you constantly boast of your BRUTE STRENGTH to PROVE HOW ALPHA YOU ARE. One night you’re in a bar drinking your sorrows away when a man comes up to your table. You briefly consider going all Emperor Palpatine on their asses, but caution wins out and you allow yourself to be arrested.
Freud can say whatever he wants against defense mechanisms, but without them, you’re defenseless. It always thinks that it is a good bear, a proper bear, that a bear-hating world has it out for them in particular. Green The first thing you do after taking the green pill is become a sparrow.
Your sessions are spent in incisive cutting into your clients’ deepest insecurities alternating with desperate reassurance that they are good people anyway. You knew, in a vague way, that men thought about sex all the time. But you realize that if you were as horny as they were all the time, you’d do much the same. You soar across the landscape, feeling truly free for the first time in your life.