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There is a certain unintentional cruelty in splitting one's psyche into different characters. It's one thing to have loneliness and horniness and misandry all boiling around in the same skull. It's quite another thing to have one character being lonely and another character trying to convince her to have sex and a third character trying to convince her that men are evil.

Fortunately, we have Ellen; my superego, my common sense.

Yes, har har, I do have some common sense. Shut up.

Ellen is the most grounded of all my characters - she hates drama and sitcom-style shenanigans, she keeps things together when they would otherwise fly apart. It's no coincidence that Leftover Soup begins with her giving Jamie a place to live, it's no coincidence that games are hosted at her place, it's no coincidence that she's more often on the giving rather than the receiving end of the lecture du jour.

But even with Ellen reining back the more extreme cast members from careening off their respective cliffs, the fundamental issue remains. I think we can agree that Gina's problem is not being caused by Max's exhortations of promiscuity or Lily's demonization of everything with a penis. Gina Ulrich's problem is Gina Ulrich.

The Bible tells us that the root of suffering is sin. The Buddha tells us that the root of suffering is attachment. I think - at least in Gina's case - the root of suffering is expectation.

As I've said, Gina, despite her age, is the fragment of myself that is most tied to my childhood - in particular, to a childhood where I believed pretty much everything I was told, not only about religion, but about the whole world. Gina has an expectation of how the world is supposed to work, and a great many things don't appear to be conforming to that plan. Regardless of how small and simple and reasonable and realistic her expectations may be, the universe continually deviates from what Gina has in mind. Gina builds up pictures and ideals and scenarios in her head, like someone rehearsing an argument before they have it, and, much like a rehearsed argument, everyone else doesn't seem to be reading their lines properly.

Regardless of the utility and necessity of a proverbial bicycle to a proverbial fish, Gina's future is supposed to have a fish-bicycle in it. Because said fish-bicycle has yet to materialize, Gina cannot think of herself as anything other than dissatisfied and incomplete. (And, of course, her response to this incompleteness is to modify and recalibrate her expectations, rather than abandoning expectation altogether. Expectations are like that. They're a tricky habit to break.)

(Wednesday afternoon, INT: mall food court)

MH: Ellen!
EB: What?
MH: Ellen! Seriously?
EB: Yes! Yes, seriously!
EB: Look, I've known Lily Hammerschmidt longer than any of you. She is my employer, my GM, and my friend.
EB: And, y'know what, she'd be my friend even if she weren't any of those other things!
EB: And you want to accuse her of... what, of some weird juvenile psy ops bullshit? Doing something that she herself equated with assault?
EB: Sure, Lily is an unabashed and unapologetic misandrist. She's never claimed to be anything else. But she is loyal. She likes us. She likes Gina.
EB: And... and have you been on the Internet at all, ever? You honestly think the only way a picture of some genitalia comes your way is if someone seeks you out specifically? I can't load up my fucking Skype without some random sequence of letters and numbers claiming it's in my area and wants to have fun sexy chat times.
EB: That's how the Internet is, and you damn well know it.
GU: I guess it's possible that someone set up a script that just... sends random Google-searched porn to people. The world is full of troll dudes.
EB: Yes. Yes, I think we can all agree that some horrible troll dude man guy could definitely program that, and we should not concern ourselves with that scenario any further.