My idea for a perfect day is as follows. I get up late, I put on some music, read nine newspapers from cover to cover, then watch all the movies and television shows I’ve missed out on. I then put on some more music and read a book or finish some work. Repeat this routine where applicable. What do all these activities have in common? They require no social interaction whatsoever.
Most psychologists would say this kind of behaviour is abnormal, even troubling. I have grown up with society telling me this behaviour is frowned upon, even hazardous to a person’s mental health. It’s not like I can’t hold a conversation, I can, about many, many things. I just choose not to. When I want to have a conversation it has to mean something. Conversations that lead nowhere are not worth my time.
I can’t really pinpoint a reason why this is so. Conversations have to be on my terms or I have no patience for them. They inevitably turn into an intellectual pissing match because that’s how I operate. I overcompensate with intellectual prowess in order to mask my emotional and physical disabilities. If the conversation is not fixed on these terms I withdraw either physically or emotionally.
That occurs always, except with my immediate family and a notable exception. Outwardly, no outside observer could say that this exception is anything special. They would have to know them personally to discover this. Yet this is the only person I miss after not being in contact with them after long periods of time. They are the only person with whom I can have a conversation with hours on end and never run out of things to say. Why is this so? I couldn’t honestly say. We just understand each other. It isn’t as if I rely on them as my only form of contact with the wider world. At the time of writing we have spoken just once in three months. As the old saying goes, its quality not quantity that counts.
Yet I am totally happy, for the most part. Sometimes I bitch and moan about not having a girlfriend, but when living this kind of lifestyle, I won’t meet enough people to even have a girlfriend short list. I don’t even want a girlfriend. Theoretically speaking, having a girlfriend would be a disaster that would ruin my lifestyle and render those perfect days utterly extinct. Girlfriends would require engaging in conversation and activities that do not interest me. Girlfriends would require innumerable social activities, both to find one and to keep one. Girlfriends do not require intellectual pissing contests. Girlfriends require you to be vulnerable, attentive and empathetic and I am none of those.
I am curious to know what urge, be it biological or societal, draws us in and wants us to partner up in the first place. I don’t know how to explain that split second urge that starts those feelings and emotions, but that’s what it is, a split second, or not even a split second, maybe half a split second. It screams ‘I must have her NOW’. That half a second is all it takes to ruin, a month, a year or possibly decades of emotional well being. I had that urge I don’t anymore.
The wasted time in a relationship is an attempt to reclaim the split second urge one feels the first time around, although it is never, ever repeated again. It’s like putting on a great record for the first time, no matter how many times you play it nothing will ever match the joy upon hearing it for the first time. Eventually the record gets scratched to buggery and you can play it no longer. The eternal optimists of this world would say that this is no way to live one’s life. They would say that I will die a bitter, twisted, and lonely old man with absolutely no friends. They, I believe are incorrect. Yes I would more than likely end up alone, but I would not end up lonely. Loneliness implies that a person needs social contact in order to be validated.
The advent of the information age has highlighted how inept I am at relationships. I graduated from high school eight years ago and Facebook has reliably informed me that most of my classmates have either: married fellow classmates, had babies with fellow classmates, married outside our strangely incestuous class, or are in contented relationships. At the age of 25, one should just be growing out of the phase of developing STDs. I am doing none of these things; rather I am just sitting here listening to music writing about how I have never done these things.
Society tells me that at my age that I should want to do these things. Media parades coupledom as normalcy. Every single person that I respect as part of my popular culture tapestry is in a relationship or uses their notoriety to illustrate just how much they wish to be in one. However, given the choice I think I’d rather set my testicles on fire than happily commit to another person in the long term. A ‘night of fun’ perhaps yes, but then again, cripples weren’t built to have the occasional ‘night of fun’ too much work for the other person, you see. If they were to put in that much effort they’d want a long term commitment. I am not built for such extravagances.
Why not? Perhaps it is because I have been burnt so many times before. Those who think they know me would say so. I’d say that maturity has taught me this. I venture to guess that I do more self appraisal than most and I’ve come to the conclusion that I am willingly selfish. Selfish out of necessity even, because my life must be planned to within every inch of detail. Relationships throw such plans out of kilter, and quite frankly at this time I am repulsed by them.
Who knows one day the spitting image of Kristen Stewart, with a taste for quality music and a penchant for social democratic political activism might just wonder into my life rendering the above meaningless or at worst hypocritical. When that unlikely event emerges you can read this back to me, call me a hypocrite and laugh uncontrollably. Just don’t expect it to happen anytime soon.