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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/966072-Like-It-or-Not-snippet
Rated: 13+ · Book · Mystery · #1222498
A place for random thoughts, ideas, and fun!
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#966072 added September 12, 2019 at 1:18pm
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Like It or Not snippet
Here's a snippet of the project I've been working on for ... ohhhhh 5 years now? It's nearly finished!

Contemporary YA retelling of As You Like It

(Background to scene: earlier that day their melancholy philosopher of an English teacher had initiated a discussion of determinism vs. free will)

Gabe sat, warming his hands on his latte mug and staring at the milky leaf design. “But seriously, was it really free will?” he asked, picking up the thread of Touchstone’s earlier exchange with Jaques. The debate had shifted focus and they’d never quite finished it, but it hadn’t been far from his mind since leaving class.

It wasn’t something he’d ever thought about. He hadn’t been raised with any sort of religious background, so the idea of a deity determining his fate was unfamiliar and even uncomfortable. Now, he’d spent the whole day thinking about gender and determinism versus free will, like some kind of teenage philosopher.

“What do you mean? Didn’t we already do this?” A raindrop fell from Touchstone’s hair and plopped onto the tabletop. Huffing, he swiped at it with his sweatshirt sleeve.

“I mean, how could it be, if it was predetermined? We talked about sexuality in class, but you know I was thinking about gender identity. Maybe it’s free will that leads us to act on our feelings, but think about it. Genes may have caused my body to grow this way. I can’t change anything on a genetic level, I know that much. But the rest of it? Was it predetermined that I’d be trans? Is there something in my DNA that said, ‘we gave you this body, but it’s not who you really are’?”

“Pffft, don’t get me started with the whole ‘God doesn’t make mistakes’ bullshit,” Touchstone said just a bit too loudly. A pair of young moms with squirmy toddlers turned and glared at them.

“I’m not sure that’s what he meant—” Orlando started.

Touchstone leaned in and whisper-yelled, “Oh, come on! That’s exactly where that argument stems from. God gave you the DNA, the DNA made you who you are, end of story, you blasphemer!”

Gabe kicked him under the table. “Calm down, Señor Quixote.”

“Well let’s say God didn’t make a mistake, and you were meant to be trans all along?” Orlando added.

“And that’s where the question of determinism versus free will comes in,” Gabe reminded them.

“Nope!” Touchstone chirped, popping the p sound. “Because choosing to hide or act is still free will.” The dregs of Touchstone’s Frappuccino rattled through his straw as he slurped.

With deft fingers, Orlando flicked a chocolate chip across the tabletop. “Getting dizzy from the circles over here, guys,” he said.

Touchstone picked up the rogue chip, which had skimmed across the table and bounced off his knuckles. He inspected it, then popped it in his mouth, chewing thoughtfully. “But isn’t that the whole purpose of philosophical conversations?” Touchstone asked.

“Gross.” Gabe cringed. “Not if you’re trying to actually find an answer.” He leaned closer to Orlando in their booth, letting their shoulders brush together.

“Awwww. So cute! Uncle Touchstone is so proud.”

“Shut up.” He kicked Touchstone under the table again.

“Ow! Don’t bruise the merch!” Touchstone pouted.

“What I really want to know is how many other kids sit around after school talking about fucking philosophy?” Orlando rolled his eyes, but he was laughing.

“Only the elite, my friend. Only the elite.” Touchstone blew him a kiss.

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