As has been the case all week (not that it’s uncommon normally), I woke up earlier after only a few hours of sleep and am unable to nap before it’s time to head out to the rest of my day’s appointments. So I’ll write instead.
Superficiality is the name of the game these days. That’s true all across this country and however many others. Feels especially true around here in this city. I sit back and observe it while I’m out. Won’t pretend to like it and won’t attempt to become better at it, though it’s what others tend to want. They have each other to play that game with — no need for me to join in too. Just weird to listen and see how people play up to one another and how they police one another into “remaining positive” at all times. They try that with me as well, but I have no time for it. Not interested in making “friends” like that anyway. Perfectly content sitting by myself, enjoying my brew while listening to tunes and leaving the other people to mingle in the background. Most of them aren’t my kind of people anyhow.
I see how some of them look at me and understand how cliquish this area is. Raised up together, work together, grouped up. Doesn’t appear they understand much outside of their bubbles or people who don’t aspire to become part of their bubbles. But ah well. I’m not going away. Gonna be around. Likely going to continue staying to myself for the most part while out also. Not expecting folks to understand one way or the other. That’s fine. Just nice to be back out again. Even oddball soloists are social beings with social needs.
Nice to meet the ones willing to be real, willing to talk directly and honestly, even at the risk of offending others. Willing to admit their past mistakes and to show their humanity without cloaking it in a bunch of conformist niceties. By that I mean being willing to speak up, to say no, while also showing real compassion for others. I find those kind of people inspiring, particularly compared against the rest who prefer to pretend, to play stupid games, to say what they think you want to hear, who act catty and passive-aggressive and flaky. Those games confuse me too much. Wastes too much of my energy trying to read between the lines and grasp what they really mean. Yet their attitude tends to be the norm, so far as I can tell. They seem to prefer to be well-liked and to come across as “fun” and carefree and non-confrontational. Well, they can keep it. That’s not how I am or what I aspire to be.
To be serious around such people is to invite criticism for being too “down” or “pessimistic.” lol People see whatever they want to see, hear whatever they want to hear, and it matters not the words you actually speak. Thoughtfulness (meaning one who sits with their thoughts) is like a repellant to the types of people I speak of here. Because that’s what they’re running from, I assume. A lot of folks come out with the ambition to drink themselves into nearly a stupor and to jabber on about the latest gossip and where they’re vacationing next and how much they spent on their clothing and how much they (fanatically!) love their pets, ad nauseam. I’ll listen to some of it when they mosey over and share it with me. But if I bring up some ideas, some thoughts, perhaps a philosophical inquiry I’m considering or an interesting article I recently read, they tend to glaze over in a hurry. Not all of them, but most of them. So I learn to sit fairly silently for the most part and just listen to what I’m able to, per my custom. Though I do find it interesting when I pipe up with a life topic, particularly if I state where I’ve been wrong in something in the past, they immediately launch into the “get over it” spiel. Not supposed to admit any wrongdoing apparently. Everything’s supposed to remain private except gossip about others, so it seems. That’s a very weird thing to me. I’d rather speak of my own thoughts and experiences than to speculate about the lives of others, but that’s just me. I find that barrier to communication quite odd…it’s another script belonging to those who believe public personae are everything. I don’t subscribe to such ways of looking at life.
But the majority likes to think it rules. Likes to think it sets the parameters that the rest of us are to be caged in by. My answer to that is “no.” Especially now. I’ll smile and say my “hellos” and “goodbyes” and keep it fairly light for the most part, but I won’t pretend to be joyful when I’m not, nor will I play up to people who will only speak behind my back first chance they get. Not worth it. Dumb game. We’re getting too old for this shit. Many choose to go along in order to get along, and that’s fine for them. I’d rather sit alone and wait for the two or three people who are actually interesting to chat with, who have more to them than what’s on the surface. While I understand we all have our internal lives and our lives behind closed doors, some (perhaps many) prefer to present a wholly different impression to others while out and about. Almost like a traveling form of Facebook where people brag about what’s good and pretend that’s all there is to them or their lives. I find that odd, but whatever. The only problem is when you’re not like that, it’s perceived as some sort of weakness, as if they pride themselves in the narratives they carefully construct for public showing. I’m in a whole different world from such concerns at this point. I just want to be human. Plain and simply, in everything that entails.
Others don’t have to like it, but I’m not asking permission anymore. I am a serious person, and a sensitive person as well, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. Been told I’m “overly analytical” my whole life, and so what? Been told also that I am “intense.” Have we come to the point where mindlessness and superficial emotionality is all we’re willing to tolerate? Where we view others as mere entertainers for our own kicks and that be all? Looks pretty pointless to me. Mind-numbing is what it often is, and for what? To take flight from reality? Well, it’ll persist regardless of whether we seek to actively lobotomize ourselves or not.