What Kids Say About Souls
First the girls, who were funny: Belle (10), Neighbor Girl (8), and Sadie (10). Then the boys, who were terrifying: Will (15), Bean (11), and Max (17).
VICE: Can you describe your soul?
Belle: What do you mean by that?
Can you picture it?
Can you feel it?
Do you have one?
How do you know?
I’d be very mean if I didn’t have one. When I picture a soul, I picture a black, shadowy figure.
Does it give off vibrations? Does it make decisions?
Well, I think things are just meant to happen.
So it doesn’t matter what you choose; everything is predestined?
It’s almost like you don’t need a soul. Not for a guide. You have destiny.
I need my soul.
I like my soul.
It feels good?
I don’t feel it. But I don’t like anything to be taken away from me. I like the way I am now.
Neighbor Girl: My soul looks like disturbness.
Because I interrupt people. And talk on and on and on and on.
That’s what it sounds like. What do you think it looks like, your soul?
What do you think its color is?
Neighbor Girl: Deadliness.
Sadie: And gray and blue.
You can picture it, Sadie? Where is it?
Do you feel uncomfortable having your soul roam away from you like that?
No! Now it’s here. Close to me.
Neighbor Girl: It bumps.
What does that mean?
I don’t understand anything I say.
Will: Mine looks sort of like me—my size and shape—but blue and clear and it smells like radishes.
Bean: A flying spaghetti monster eyeball. Wouldn’t that be awesome.
It’s not what would be awesome. It’s what is it?
Bean: That’s what it’s probably going to be.
In all seriousness, do you boys think that maybe you don’t have souls?
Max: I think I myself… or maybe nobody… has a soul. I think of souls as energy.
Will: Yeah, I think of it as electricity passing through our brains, so that’s like not having a soul.
Max: I think it’s everything.
So then you—we all—share one soul, like even with cockroaches and someone you hate.
Yeah. More specifically, maybe it’s consciousness and emotion, but science-y. But I like the idea of everything sharing one… network. The will to exist. Now that I think about it, I think it’s everywhere but inside me. It’s everything and it’s all around me and I have it, but not inside me.
You lock the door to it, your skin does, with your personal identity? So what is you makes the boundaries. You cut off eternity where you exist as a separate-conscious’ed entity.
So your soul is eternity, and goes on with or without you, and you being an individual. You preclude eternity from existing in you, because one life is the antithesis of eternity.
Yeah. Yeah. I also can imagine myself floating around in space, but as space.
That’s your soul!
I’m not saying I don’t have a soul, but my soul is everywhere, all around, and it’s not my own existence, which is trapped inside of me.
Will: Anything is real if enough people believe, even a soul.
Max: I wish I thought about my soul more. Back when I went to school in Farmington, I bought some of my friends’ souls for like five bucks. And I wrote a little contract that they signed.
You’re playing with fire.
I’m taking good care of the contracts, of course. They’re in a drawer. I didn’t think about consequences back [in eighth grade].
Did anyone turn you down, and say no you can’t have my soul?
No. People are so jaded these days. A few of my even really Christian friends. I want to get the contracts notarized.
Bean: You should sell them back to them for like a thousand dollars each.
Will: Or sell them to other people. Serious soul-buyers.
What have you done?!
Max: I think the soul is the force that binds everything that is everything together.
And you are trading in a very hot commodity.
Bean: I still say mine is a flying spaghetti monster eyeball.
Previously - What Kids Say About Death
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