Imagine a black boy videotaping himself talking about how he intends to kill people. Shit will go viral. “That fucking thug!” Imagine a brown boy videotaping himself talking about how he intends to shoot a neighborhood. “Those fucking terrorists!” Now a white boy does it. It’s cool. “He’s just a little alone, doesn’t have too many friends. Bless his heart, wish people would see his golden heart, Martha.”
“She was desperate and she was choosy at the same time and, in a way, beautiful, but she didn’t have quite enough going for her to become what she imagined herself to be.”—Charles Bukowski, Factorum (1975)
Honestly, I’m really only interested in soulmate AUs with alternative plots.
I don’t really care about person A and person B who have each other’s names on their wrists and find each other and live happily ever after. I care about a culture where people don’t bother forming romantic relationships with anyone other than their soulmate, where they finally find their soulmate and realize they don’t know how to handle the ups and downs of a relationship.
I care about people who fall in love with someone who isn’t their soulmate and aren’t willing to leave.
I care about queer people who are outed by the names on their arms, about trans people who spend their whole lives worrying that their birth name will be on their soulmate’s arm, then sobbing in relief when it’s not.
I care about people in poly relationships and how that looks.
I care about asexual aromantic people who have a name anyway and wonder if they’re broken or if it’s the platonic soulmate they’ve always wanted.
I care about people who Google their soulmate and are disappointed by what they find. I care about the private detective agencies that rake in cash to help people find their soulmates. I care about the ways non-soulmate couples are discriminated against, from disapproving grandmas to insurance companies that won’t insure someone’s spouse unless they’re their soulmate. I care about teenagers who are devastated that their celebrity crush isn’t their soulmate and what happens when the media discovers a young, unknown person whose soulmate is hugely famous.
I care about the people who never meet their soulmates, whose soulmates died young, whose soulmates have another name on their arms.
I care about the ways that this is a broken system, how it fucks people up, how it doesn’t guarantee a happy ending and how people find their happy endings anyway.