And who will teach me how to get Infinite Jest?
18 January 2010 at 4:29 pm
Even if we have nothing else in common, we'll always have Family Guy* or Hating Republicanism or Being From Norcal or the latest and greatest fool-proof way to find self-worth in decreasing 5 pound increments.
I connect with people based on how they differ from me. I don't want to hang out with the people who share my affinity for Michael Ian Black; I can obsess over him just fine by myself. It breeds competition in someone as naturally competitive as myself, which is one of my least favorite personal attributes.
I want to get to know the person who can teach me how to enjoy chess, how to watch Godard without falling asleep, how to appreciate the finer distinctions between ubiquitous hip-hop beats. I want people to teach me how to appreciate the things I don't inherently like.
People don't like to admit we're different, because being different means being alone and we, here in America, fear loneliness and isolation above all else. We covet community. We focus on the things we have in common, the safe things that don't affect us in the least, the things we have no control over. We watch other people live hyper-fictional lives and discuss that at our boot camp classes, rather than discussing ourselves.
I say nothing at all unless directly addressed, and then I eek out as few words as possible, and then people laugh even though I wasn't trying to be funny, just honest.
At 6:08pm: "Watching the clock already, Morgan?"
Canned laughter. It's like a sit-com, these boot camp classes of mine. I'll take it. Uninterrupted silence is ideal, but the silence that interrupts the chatter is the worst.
(*The next person to recite to me plot points from an episode of South Park, or any other irrelevant animated show, is getting a marble up the nostril.)
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