The minds of others

X tells me he doesn’t like to imagine other people’s lives, the minds of others. He can’t even think about it for too long. The very idea’s like a threat, he mutters. He can only relate to people who think exactly like him, he says, and of course no one does, there’s always a remainder, something that doesn’t quite fit, that threatens his peace of mind. The idea that other minds exist unsettles him, he says, horrifies him. He’s learned not to trust the similarities between himself and others, he says. So he puts a buffer between himself and others, he says. What else can he do? he asks. Even an empty fortress is better than the alternative, he says, the awful strangeness of another mind.

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