Tuesday, May 27, 2008


It's easy to see people in their shortcomings as stupid. Take me for instance. I'm socially stupid. Not emotionally -- just in the interactions. I come sweeping into a room and don't say anything to anyone. If I acknowledge them at all, it's with an aloof nod. I'm not always that bad, but, clearly, too often. It's stupid of me to expect anyone to take me as I would hope to be taken. Harmless. Quiet. Wary.

I was so careful, this last time. Really, really careful. And I did last after all three years. That's a sort of success. But this is what I've meant, when say I'm easy to hate, or that I make enemies easily. It's what I've meant when I say it's happened before. It is a pattern. And people go out of their way to, how can I put it -- not poison, not harm me -- that's not quite it. I could give the specifics, and it might be clear. But I'm not going to. It's what enemies do, when they see an opportunity. They don't see it as spiteful. They think it's justice. They think they're right.

Mostly it has to do with making sure that I'm not around anymore.

This is no longer a safe place for me.

I'm cornered.

But I've never given up.

And I won't now.

One time the police came to the building I lived in and went to a downstairs apartment. I looked out my window to see what was up, and one of them pointed and said, "There he is!" And they pointed their guns at me through the glass and ordered me out. Six or eight of them. I came onto the walkway and said, "Are you talking to me?" Well. They ordered me onto my knees, fingers laced behind my head. They went into my apartment and searched it. By then I was standing again. I don't argue. "What is going on." "Be quiet. You're under arrest." "No, I am not under arrest." I wasn't arguing. And his, uh, supervisor said, "That's right, he's not under arrest." Someone had called the police and told them I was holding someone prisoner. Long story. Eventually I had them trace the cell phone. "Oh, it was stolen from me, and I can't dream of who might have made such a call." I knew.

I have lots of stories like that. Worse, much much worse.

So when I'm not dealing with scum, it surprises me, when I find questionable conduct. Reasonable people discuss things. At least that's what I think they do. It only seems to be me who wants to do that. But then, rationality is what I'm good at. Sociability isn't my strong suit. The dismay I feel at irrationality must be the same that others feel when they encounter my deficits.

This last time I was so careful. I won't bother to plod through the irony.

I was thinking about friendliness. It's a good thing. Not my strong point, but a good thing. Not the same thing as friendship, at all. But to be friendly, even to people you're neutral about -- a good thing. To be friendly with people you dislike? I can't make the case for it. I mean I could, but it would be sophistry. I could argue for incest too. When cordiality slips into deceit, well, isn't that dishonest? There is a dishonesty that's good -- lying to Nazis to save Jews. But what I'm talking about amounts to a betrayal. I think it does. A persistent falsehood, that does what? -- lulls you into a false security. And the trap is sprung.

That overstates the matter, of course. Traps after all have to be prepared, consciously. I must mean something more like an avalanche. Where one false step brings down a mountain. The keystone is displaced, and who even knew what would happen. All that falsehood, all that friendliness, was just the piling up of stones.

There must be some middle way, between my awkwardness and the slick phoniness that finally unmasks itself as loathing. For my part, I don't know how I could be more honest, or less. But that makes me sound right, and being a social moron is not right. I guess being pleasant is a skill, the same way being forthright is. I haven't had a lot of success, being forthright. I find things deteriorate much faster, then.

Ah well. The problem hinges, of course, on intimacy. We're safest with our inner circle. My mistake, one of them, is to expect from acquaintances what I might expect from someone who loved me. Expect isn't quite the right word.

Generally I wouldn't post this. I'd just delete it, as is my wont. Especially since I can feel no assurance of being understood. But I'll pretend that it is otherwise. I'll pretend. It's a start. A first step on the way to, uh, being able to fake friendliness, the way the world seems to need.

You do the same for me, huh? Just keep your real opinion to yourself, and pretend not to be annoyed by my circling like a hyena, a fellow hyena around this rotting corpse. Hyenas are social animals. It should be easy.


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