isolation, pt. 3

I used to be so afraid of isolation. I think that's what drove me. Somehow I'd become convinced that being introverted was a vice, so I forced myself to go out, burying myself in plans, interacting with people I didn't really like, because some anti-Imperial activist once said "be the change you want to see in this world" and I decided I wanted to be like all of these happy extroverts that interacted with all these people I didn't like and seemed to enjoy themselves. Worse, I managed to get a job writing about the awful culture I'd sunk myself into. So even if it were possible for me to enjoy it (which it wasn't), now it was about work.

This is a story I'd end up telling my sister's old lover; then I wrote about telling that story as the last thing I ever wrote for my little culture blog. It was one of those parties I was always going to, where I met this kid who was shy and adorable and took forever to finally actually kiss me no matter how many hints I dropped. We spent the evening kissing on the floor, and the whole time all I could think about was the guy sleeping on the couch three feet away, and how we must have been keeping him awake and how uncomfortable that must have been for him.

Naturally even once we'd finished I spent the evening lying awake and wondering if this would forever color his perception of me, if this altogether weird evening had managed to alienate someone who was actually pretty cool (a rarity in this world I lived in now). I felt a sense of loss, and in retrospect I think it was about then that I realized why I always felt so lonely.

I met a good friend for coffee the next morning and told him about my revelation. It went something like: "It's like, I thought the cure for loneliness was to just meet as many people as possible, you know? And I'd always come home and feel even worse."

"Hangover notwithstanding?"

"Hangover notwithstanding."

Of course he made fun of me for living to please a version of me that never existed, and of course I fell into the same trap again a few days later, but I went home and filled my head with stories and really, truly, basked in my isolation.

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