Recovery and the Three JRs
Three people are about to undergo the same type of surgery. Each one of them will receive a general anesthesia, and strangers they’ve never met will move sharp pieces of metal up into their noses to cut out as many troublesome polyps as is possible without punctuating their brain sacs. These three people have to prepare for the longest absence from work that they have ever taken. The doctors have told them they should expect to be recovering in bed for around ten to fourteen days. No climbing stairs. No signing legal documents (due to the pain medication). No driving. And no lifting.
These inconveniences will be particularly difficult as each of these people have a 2-year-old daughter and a 4-month-old son. Their wife will have to be an even more fantastic mother than she already is, while they lie in bed and recuperate. I say “wife” instead of “wives” because they all are married to the same person. This is because, Manager-JR, Dad-JR, and Gamer-JR all happen to live in the same body.
Gamer-JR is positively giddy at the prospect. Not the surgery itself; the recovery is what he wants. And not the first few days when he’ll be in a good deal of pain and completely helpless. No, that does not sound enjoyable to Gamer-JR.
What Gamer-JR wants, what he is longing for, is when the worst of the pain has passed. Gamer-JR wants that one-week period when he’ll be able to go to the kitchen, get a snack, crawl back into bed, but otherwise be unable to do much of anything of importance. Gamer-JR doesn’t want to share his body with Manager-JR or Dad-JR for that week. He looks forward to when the body they all share will be physically incapable of doing the things that Manager-JR and Dad-JR are required to use it to do. As long as the body is still of sound enough mind and body to play a video game (or two ... or ten!) then Gamer-JR will be happy.
Now, even Gamer-JR thinks that longing to be ordered to stay in bed (theoretically) sounds bad, but he’s feeling a little desperate. Gamer-JR hasn’t had much time to be in control of the body in almost a decade. In that time, Gamer-JR has not had a weekend, let alone an entire week’s worth of days, where all he does is lie around and play video games. Gamer-JR barely has enough time to play a ten-minute iPhone game before he has to give up the body. So when presented with a scenario where he has an entire week in which he is in control of the body, well, in that case Gamer-JR cannot help but smile.
Gamer-JR knows that he’s not very important. Gamer-JR is aware that the other two have much more important things to do with the body. Gamer-JR knows that when the three of them come into conflict over what’s really important, Gamer-JR always, always loses. Gamer-JR has to let the other two do their adult duties as he just slinks away to wherever he goes when he’s not in control of the body. Gamer-JR will be having fun at 10:00 PM, and by 10:01 Dad-JR will take over because the body has two children who will need to be taken care of in the morning. Gamer-JR will be getting deeper and deeper into a game when Manager-JR takes control because the body should be doing something more important: working on conversion ratios or looking over a new source provider contract.
But what if Gamer-JR were to have a perfectly valid excuse to be in control of the body, unfettered? When the body has a cold or even the flu, Dad-JR just powers through it, because the body has a duty to its children. But if what if Dad-JR cannot pick up his children for fear of internal bleeding and Manager-JR is not legally allowed to sign documents? What then?
Gamer-JR knows what will happen then. Then Gamer-JR can use the body to play a game until he is done playing, not just until his oh-so-brief time to be in control is over. Then Gamer-JR can exist without the nagging feeling that he shouldn’t exist. Then Gamer-JR won’t be told that there is other stuff, genuinely more important stuff, that should be getting done. Then Gamer-JR won’t need to take one for the team and give up his control of the body.
Gamer-JR just wants to be in control. For a while at least.
It won’t be as much fun as Gamer-JR is picturing, Gamer-JR knows that on some level. There will be problems. There will be pain. There will be boredom. But Gamer-JR also knows that he hasn’t been allowed to be in control of the body for long stretches of time since the kids were born. Even on vacations Manager-JR and Dad-JR are hard at work and don’t have time to give the body over to Gamer-JR for his desires and wants. So Gamer-JR looks past the problems of having surgery and smiles at the thought of the body having no power, no responsibility, and finally getting a chance to play this Skyrim thing he has heard about.
And when he’s had his chance to be in control and has had enough time to grow bored with that power, perhaps in the future Manager-JR and Dad-JR can remind him of that boredom the next time they need to take control of the body and do the things that Manager-JR and Dad-JR need to do.