My friend Bozzy — whom I’ve never met IRL — posts amazing and weird things, which he says he believes, but I’m not sure, he might be joking.
What kinds of things does Bozzy say? He says he is descended from the Pharaohs of Egypt. He says he is able to remember the future and taste the past. He says his orgasms give him second sight, with which he perceives patterns in the no-osphere, rising and falling patterns of power emanating from video games he plays, from political rallies he attends, from manga he reads. He writes poems about tiny men who live on the inside of a hollow sphere called OMBRADAVIA; Ombradavia is not very advanced when it comes to gender stereotypes, the tiny men keep tiny buxom women prisoner with collars like dogs.
But most important of all these weird things he says, sometimes shocking sometimes funny are that he says you cannot know for sure if he is joking.
So how can I tell if Bozzy is serious?
I think Bozzy is serious about getting me to pay attention to him. I think he is serious about being unhappy. I think he is serious about wanting me to take his unhappiness seriously. And I think he is serious about not begging for attention. If he just said, without apology “I hurt” I think he would feel seriously humiliated.
Plutarch pointed out that though the boys throw stones at the frogs in jest the frogs do not die in jest, they die in earnest.
Bozzy knows that I think. He wants to smash those frogs and knows they will die in earnest.
Bozzy does not know because he won’t let himself know that he says what he says so he won’t get hurt further. He doesn’t want to let himself know he is in pain, although of course he does know.
Knowing and not knowing, acknowledging his pain and denying it — this gives the characteristic warbling rhythm to Bozzy’s laughter.