I tend to get to know people slowly and, sometimes, painfully. I think I may have become a writer long ago because I never found anyone that I could pour my heart out to as easily as I could utter/outer/other what was quarantined inside my skull onto a page that could somehow hear every secret and keep them all. Most people who frequent bars get bored and wander off long before I manage to break the ice. I typically miss any openings they give me and talk about all the wrong things when I speak at all. I am probably doing this right now. If so, thank you for your patience and kindness if you are still reading and, if you are not, I just want you to know that I really can't help it and that it is neurotypical bigots like you who have made my life, if not hell, at least very similar to a long head-cold that will not go away. I'd never say this if you were still reading. Unlike you smog bastards, I try not to hurt even critters I can relate to only about as well as a barnacle can to some truck-stop waitress who thinks that a guy who puts maple syrup in his coffee is kinky enough to make the carnal knowledge thereof qualify as both anthropological research and a righteous hoot.
I love talking philosophy, literature or psychology but have absolutely no talent for the kind of small talk which is made not to convey or receive information but to establish rapport. I find it hard to establish rapport by saying nothing. I prefer conversations with content and become quickly annoyed with empty chatter designed to fill an awkward silence. The problem is that those silences are not awkward for me. I can ride in total silence for an hour when taking long trips by car with a companion that I know well and feel comfortable with. I’ve been told that I’m not a good person to take on road trips for this reason.
I disappear inside my mind for long periods even when there is someone I care about in the same room. If this would feel like rejection to you, I am not what you are looking for. I’ve spent my life being told how smart I was by people who found me boring. This is especially painful for me when the person telling me how smart I am is an attractive woman. I’m probably the only guy in the history of Mensa to join because I thought it would be a great place to meet girls.
This did not work out well but I learned something important from the attempt; I’m part of a sub-population within the general population who are significantly over-represented in the upper 2% of the IQ distribution. After I’d been around for a while, I could divide the Mensa regulars up into two categories, “extreme high normal” and “one of us” without having much question at all where each person belonged. I did not get along any better with the “extreme high normals” that with the garden variety normals that I had already spent my life boring and being bored by.
I am a mutant, a hopeful monster who only functions well in one narrow niche both socially and professionally. My species is not yet defined and I may be a one-time fluke with no future and no other half waiting, with baited breathe and an aching hornitude vast enough to beggar the imagination, for her ship to run aground or at least get close enough to make swimming out a realistic option. This makes searching for a girlfriend or even the occasional pity-fuck a long-shot gamble similar to wandering around in some discount clothing barn on the off chance of finding a quality control nightmare with three sleeves.
So here I am at 59, an avid reader and a failed writer who has been amazed to find that I am really good at the “day job” I fell back on to avoid starvation. I teach English and psychology both online and on-ground and really enjoy it most of the time. My students actually like me. This is confirmed every term when they turn in their evaluations but I’m always amazed when it happens. ***Right now, I’m learning the pure math behind the statistics and research design I already know and how to play an extended range bass bass. I also play drums***** I love computers but this love is largely unrequited; I’m not good with computers even though computers have been very good to me. I was born and grow up before computers became a part of everyday life and, somehow, I survived. Looking back, I can’t remember exactly how.
So little time, so much to know!
- Jeremy, Yellow Submarine
I’m a failed writer who would have failed even more essentially if he had spent his life doing anything other than not getting anywhere as a writer. Some people are born to fail at a particular something and cheat themselves and the world out of the best they could have been by succeeding at anything else. Hitler should have spent his life not getting anywhere as an artist. The world is a sadder place because he found something he was good at.
Books, movies, The Internet and other sources of information and/or vicarious experience
by Hugo von Hofsmannsthal (translated by Peter Viereck)
And children still grow up with longing eyes
That know of nothing, still grow tall and perish,
And no new traveller treads a better way;
And fruits grow ripe and delicate to cherish
And still shall fall like dead birds from the skies,
And where they fell grow rotten in a day.
And still we feel cool winds on limbs still glowing,
That shudder westward; and we turn to say
Words, and we hear words; and cool winds are blowing
Our wilted hands through autumns of unclutching.
What use is all our tampering and touching?
Why laughter, that must soon turn pale and cry?
Who quarantined our lives in separate homes?
Our souls are trapped in lofts without a skylight;
We argue with a padlock till we die,
In games we never meant to play for keeps.
And yet how much we say in saying 'twilight,'
A word from which man's grief and wisdom seeps
Like heavy honey out of swollen combs