No one actually likes me. I don’t say this to deprecate myself, it’s just fact. The very few friends I have don’t hear from me often, keeping them friends longer. There are times I’ll meet someone and feel a special connection. A spark of recognition in the vast darkness. Those people are cherished for as long as they’ll have me. Sometimes it’s just a day. Once, it was a decade. I savor the experience more now than I did, perhaps because I am spoiled with opportunity. I just know I can’t let my guard down because that’s when I get hurt.
I manage with a small bag of tools and the things I’m proud of are specifically chosen. The really hard things are accomplished so gradually it’s easy to forget how amazing I am. Possessing an unnaturally keen sense of observation, I’m often accused of thinking too much. A doctor once called my paranoid behavior a self-defense mechanism against abusive environments. If that’s true then it’s a shitty method because I still abuse myself worse than anyone else I know. Noticing everything is an involuntary quality, granting me the aura of prescience in certain circumstances. Don’t worry, I only use these powers for good.
Dismantling my ego is at the core of all the things I do. When I’m being myself it makes people uncomfortable, empirically. Literally learning the rules of society in a summer cotillion course at the neighborhood country club, I’m fully able to comprehend polite behavior. I also have a deep compulsion to speak my mind. Responding to the grungy nihilism of the 90’s with the existentialist vigor of a high school Frenchman, my childhood is a caduceus of hormones and contradictions. Terminally romantic, I suffer from persistent idealism.
The solution is to be myself as quietly as possible, honing and compartmentalizing my flaws into a force so powerful it cuts straight through bullshit. When my voice is needed, it will be ready. Slicing through mesozoic layers of superficial crap, I can often pinpoint someone’s specific insecurities after only a few minutes of interaction. It’s not hard to spot if you can see where people are building their walls. The trick is subverting their defenses. Fortunately, my Southern roots equipped me with a utility belt full of contextual conversations and backhanded compliments. A pacifist at heart, I’m still willing to cut a bitch when necessary.
I’m a troll, despite arguments against my theory. As a respectable facet of my species I’m much better than the worst human, but honestly that’s not saying much. As with any creature’s existence I am trying to resolve my reality with the reactions of the beings around me. I haven’t succeeded yet but the battle might be my definition. Perhaps I’m just beginning to blaze the trail someone else will use to find promised lands. I know I’m not evil, no matter how little support I get for that notion. Identifying with a different standard is the two steps forward I need.