What’s Left of Me

I think what you do is amazing.

—Sherlock, “Elementary”

Forgive me for giving this post such an emo title, but bear with me, it has a point. You see, I’ve reached a point in my life where the lack of socializing is starting to get to me. I’ve been here before. I reached it during my sophomore year in college and felt that way both for the few months before I left for grad school and much of my spring semester of grad school. (For some way, I tend to get this way during the spring. Maybe this is why spring is my least favorite season.) I know that you have to be patient if you want to get what you’re looking for. I know that it takes time to build up any sort of meaningful relationship. Unfortunately for me, patience is like a muscle, meaning that it gets stronger very gradually, and only after you’ve worked it really hard. I want my life to get better, and I want it to get better now. For now, there’s, I don’t know, In-N-Out Burger and Captain America, I guess.

The funny thing about change is that it happens very slowly, then suddenly all at once. You spend years and years working towards something, then before you know it, it happens, and you don’t know what to do with yourself. I keep thinking I’ve reached a point where my family is finally going to respect me, but then they say or do something shitty that has me wondering if they heard a single thing I said. From where I’m standing, it looks as if they’ve assumed that since I’m related to them, I’m going to put up with whatever they do. And that’s just not how it works. If they want me in their lives, they are going to have to act like people that I want to be around. It’s that simple.

Perhaps my isolation from other people, whether intentional or not, helps to explain my fascination with religion. I’m thinking of reading Ecclesiastes next, which is very short, and contains the famous line, “Men come and go, but Earth abides.” (Incidentally, Earth Abides is the name of a terrific post-apocalyptic science fiction novel by George R. Stewart. Check it out.) After all, faith in something that cannot be disproved is comforting. More than that, it gives people hope. I’m not looking for a reward in the afterlife. I find the idea that after we die, those of us who were good get to live in some perfect utopia while those of us who were bad get to stew in a lake of fire rather simplistic. I just think that while I’m sitting on my ass with nothing else to do except wonder why my father asked me to clean the bathrooms while he was away even though he cleaned them himself not one week ago (maybe he just thinks I’m idle because I want to be?), I might as well find some way to occupy my time.

calvin memoriesI used to not understand what the above strip really meant. In school, I was always a model student. I was the sort of person who would get right up in the teacher’s face about daring to give me an A-minus. It took me a long time to let that go. When I first read this one as a child, I thought Calvin’s behavior was reckless and irresponsible. Looking back, I think he had a point. Calvin may be a conceited little brat, but the reason he connects with so many readers is that he has the courage to ask questions that nobody else does. What is school for, anyway? I’m not saying it’s not important. I have two degrees. Mountain of student loan debt notwithstanding, I’m glad I did that. Reading this, I flash back to an argument I had with parents as a child in which I asked them if I could let the D&D session I was hosting run a little long, and they shot me down because my sister and a friend had to do a science project that night. I got upset. My father (sort of) threatened to kill me if I didn’t let it go. Yes, I suppose it would have been unfair to keep the session going, seeing as how my sister and her friend had been planning to do this project for a while. But my parents didn’t even consider the possibility that time spent with friends doing something that stirs the imagination and is fun might be more important than some dumb fucking project. That’s a problem.

I’m not a happy-go-lucky person. You can probably tell just by reading the title of this post. I can’t help but see everything in abstractions, as if everything that happens to me holds the key to understanding human existence. I can’t not have deep thoughts; all of my thoughts are deep, and I wish I knew how to turn that off. And since I don’t have a middle setting, people who meet me tend to find me either withdrawn or a little much. But whoever you are, you can’t stop going until you’ve actually pushed through it. I can’t wait until I have my own goddamn place again (even if I have to share it with a roommate). Enough about that for now.

I’ll leave you with a funny video. I’ve never seen more than a few episodes of “Flying Circus”, but Monty Python fans will hopefully recognize the skit that this references. Really, I don’t see the point of living somewhere if the residents can’t have a sense of humor about themselves. If I lived there, you can bet I would do a silly walk every time I crossed that street. And I wouldn’t even care if I were running late.


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