Palm Reading (from Kenshi Yonezu's LINE Blog)

I'm remembering this time I vaguely listened to a friend talk about how they were into palm-reading.

I've hardly ever found myself shaken by things like fortune-telling or personality assessments, and always perceived them as nothing but a way of livening things up a little when you're drinking with people. The idea of using a statistical (?) basis to give an objective, exaggerated viewpoint of "you're this kind of person, and you'll surely lead this kind of life" makes me want to snap back like "Who do you think you are?!", but there's also a part of me that wants to casually accept it, like "Huh, is that right? Maybe that's true." When you go shopping on Amazon or listen to music you like on YouTube, from time to time the internet recommends you things like "You'd like this sort of thing too, right?" I can feel a little vexed when those things are an exact match for me in that moment, but on the other hand, I sometimes think "hey, thanks, appreciate it." I've come to realize there's a part of me that finds relying on statistical information (though I don't know if fortune-telling is really statistical) to decide minor choices that don't greatly affect your life, like what you'll have for dinner or what shoes to wear out, to maybe be enjoyable in a way.

There's many opinions on the matter, but I've heard that there are only about 6 or so basic structures for a story. To think that you could look around you and see such a variety of people, and yet there's only 6 stories among them? That's only 2 more than those blood-type personality assessments that've had zero credibility in recent years, I think with skepticism. But then again, it makes sense - maybe the reason I can look at Ophelia in modern times and still feel an ache in my heart is because the fundamentally human-y aspects of humans don't really change, and everything's being repeated again and again in the same framework.

As I've grown up, I've gained knowledge and experience, and compared to my meandering teens, I can now live more or less without deficiency. I can pull up past cases of similar events from the experiences I've accumulated, and present them to the problem in front of me like "how's about this?" Even if you experience some shocking thing for the first time, dig into the literature and there's probably some name for it already; you just didn't know because you weren't educated or whatnot. The places we live in have been given town names, and there's been a succession of stories there. We can't escape from our lives as the characters in those stories. On one hand, I desire to live freely and minimize the number of things tying me down, but my life is mainly comprised of routine stemming from circumstances and customs, so I'm a little dubious at times if it's possible to claim "I earned my current freedom of my own volition!" and legitimately feel it. With our tastes and hobbies statistically analyzed using significant information, and our moods determining how we live in the shortest possible distance, where should we safely secure our real feelings? Seeing as we're like babies just tottering around and fretting, for us to be given a setting for a story, an edited script, and the left-behind prayers of characters who already exited the story - that seems luxurious to me.

While watching a certain TV drama, there was a scene where a character took a knife, and while telling another character "I'll extend your lifeline," tried to cut that person's palm. That was an anecdote I brought up while sitting down drinking, and yet I found myself rather seriously considering "if your palm reading changes, your life changes too - is something like that plausible?" If in the middle of my story, my palm got slashed like "gimme some life, please," and I could gaze at it and think "my lifespan sure did get longer," maybe that'd be something in itself? Not that I'd do that. It'd probably hurt.

Posted August 21st, 2019


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