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Jessica Jones’s Neighbor Learns A Valuable Lesson About Solipsism
Back in Jessica's old 'hood, a blast from her past serves as the messenger for advice we can all use regarding compassionate listening.
I get it, Mrs. Deluca. Life on Higgins Drive is usually pretty boring, what with its rows of identical shingled boxes and their nondescript suburbanite occupants. So when that nice Asian family down the street skipped town in the middle of the night and an impeccably dressed British man moved in, bringing with him an entourage of weirdly docile servants that seem a little bit extravagant for this solidly middle-class neighborhood, it was basically the most interesting thing that has ever happened in this nameless suburb.
And then, the very next day, who should come to join him but your old neighbor (and one of the house's previous occupants), little Jessie Jones? And if you turn your hearing aid just so, you can make out some muffled arguments between the two? Yes, this is definitely so much more interesting than watching Bob over-watering his rhododendrons for the nine-thousandth consecutive day.
You and Jessie would be of one mind on that one.
So of course you wouldn't miss the opportunity to stop by, reminisce, and catch up. If it goes well, maybe you'll wipe the cat hair off the ol' Crock Pot and show the new-old neighbors what good cooking really is, because Lord knows little Jessie never knew that kind of thing growing up.
And if your own life story wouldn't exactly make for the most interesting TV drama, you might even feel a little gratified to be able to cruise through the backyard of the former Jones homestead and drop some exposition on the unsuspecting young lady and her companion. Brian was a mechanic and Alisa was a math teacher! And Jessie such an angsty little teen, and little Phillip sure had it coming whenever big sis tormented him, didn't he?
In retrospect, though, Jessie went through a pretty tough time back in the '90s, and you see now that maybe crashing her romantic breakfast and forcing her to relive the car accident that killed her family wasn't necessarily the most compassionate route. See, for you, it was just an odd thing that happened on your block -- when that nice family rear-ended a truck on the first day of their summer vacation, and everyone but the teenaged daughter died -- but for Jessie, it was a defining moment in her life that actually wound up setting her on a pretty dark path.
You had no way of knowing all of this at the time, of course, but if you'd taken half a second to engage in a little bit of empathy, you probably could have guessed it wasn't something she'd be anxious to discuss. And casting yourself in the role of almost kinda-sorta would-be savior with your "premonition"? Not the most compassionate call.
You're not sure exactly why you felt compelled to say so, but you definitely realize that it was kind of shitty to tell Jessie all about how you, personally, have struggled with survivor's guilt because you heard about something bad that happened to her and her entire family. All the sincere apologies and meatloaves in the world are not going to un-say those callous words. It's probably best to get back to minding your own business -- and that's a feeling of foreboding you actually do feel, as opposed to the one you always told people you felt right before the Jones family left for vacation.
Of course, by that point, you've also annoyed the charming British man with the mind-control powers, and as you're about to find out, it's kind of hard to come back from that. Might he have left you alone, and never asked you for any favors, if you hadn't pissed off his lady love? Maybe, maybe not.
It's a bit ironic, really, that you finally do have a pivotal role to play in someone else's interesting life story...and that particular anecdote ends with bits of you scattered across the Jones family's old front lawn.