By Elisa Gabbert

Elisa Gabbert is the author of The Self Unstable (Black Ocean) and The French Exit (Birds LLC). Follow her on Twitter at @egabbert.

  1. Elisa Gabbert's previous work for The Butter can be found here. Years ago, a friend told me that she dreams in the third person, watching herself. At the time, I found this improbable—why wouldn’t you dream as you live?—until I noticed that I often fantasize in the third person. I don’t just mean sexual fantasies, but any time I project forward into an imagined future, and sometimes I replay memories as though I’m watching…

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  2. There are playlists on YouTube designed specifically to make people cry. Usually the videos are some combination of dogs dying, soldiers coming home from war, and Thai life insurance commercials, which are bizarrely harrowing. People who claim never to cry over circumstances in their own lives will confess to the minute and second when they “lost it.” A comment on an article about the 19-video “No Cry Challenge”: “I made it to like 2:50…

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