Do Not Read This

>from: Raph al Guul; raphalguul@jesus.ch
>to: you@emailprovider.com
>date: 20.03.2012 23:42
>subject: do not read this

If you are getting this email, just delete it – no need to read it. I am just typing this to prevent my current situation from being awkward. Funny story, actually; you see, I was invited by a friend for what you’d probably call a “pleasant get-together”. Now, I really like that friend, but quite frankly, I did not know any of the other people invited. It’s the curse of students who have a long commute, I guess. It means you randomly encounter nice people, but none of their friends.

So anyway, I ended up going there for that particular occasion. Don’t get me wrong; it was nice. Indeed it was. There’s just one tiny little problem. As you most certainly know, I tend to be very awkward around people I don’t know. There is a varied selection of ways people react to me telling them about this. Some think that’s perfectly normal, others immediately feel the need to diagnose me with xenophobia. I think it’s a bit of both. But really, I don’t care what you want to call it. What happened, in short, was that my interaction with my friend’s friends was scarce and uncomfortable for all involved.

I’d hang out with my friends any day of the week and for twenty-four consecutive hours, if I had the chance to. But it takes quite a while for me to get accustomed to new faces and that one occasional encounter is hardly ever going to do it for me. So when I left my friend’s place, imagine how weird it was to discover that I was going to take the same bus as two other people who had been at the “get-together”. You have to imagine it like this: the second I stepped outside, I had immediately been socially disconnected from all those other people who had been invited. Except that it turned out that I would be spending some more time “with” some of them.

I realize that this is very much a story of me not making an effort. I like to let things happen, not make them. I am not going to force an encounter, I won’t try to “start” new friendships, and I certainly won’t try to like people. Yes, that makes me lazy. I believe it also makes me rational. Your friends should be your friends because you have grown attached to them in some way. Growing takes time, not action. I have many friends who study with me, but none of them I like because we do the same thing. To believe that you could approach people to make them like you or be liked by them is just plain silly.

So yes. I am not making an effort and I am okay with that. Problem is that if you’re then suddenly facing the reality of sitting in the same bus as people you met but hardly even know, particularly when you are tired from spending an entire evening doing things with people like that, the situation is bound to feel just a tad awkward. There is nothing for us to talk about. I despise small talk, I am not going to be talking about myself, and I honestly don’t care about them enough to ask them to talk about themselves. Plus, they actually know each other; so really, I am the odd one out. I am fine with being the odd one out, as long as people leave me be.

And that is why I am typing this email. I busted out my phone and started mashing the buttons. It has to look like I am terribly busy, as this means that the social gap between us will not be made apparent by superfluous interaction. Plus it gives me a chance to deal with the issue. You know, my laziness, socially awkward behavior, and xenophobia. Why am I actually sending this to you? Damn good question.

See you later,

Raph

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