I Hate Her
Do you ever want to like someone but just can’t seem to do it?
There’s someone I’ve never liked since day one.
She didn’t do anything to me.
She was actually very polite.
But something about her .
Something about her never sat right with me.
It reminds me of when I was a kid and I tried to get two magnets to stick to each other but it was impossible. Even if you got them to touch, they’d jump and pop away from each other the second they could. That’s how I feel about this girl.
And the more people say that I shouldn’t be this way to her, that I should “accept” her. The more I hate her. The more I feel a duty deep in my gut to hate her, even more, because god forbid I stop just because someone else told me to.
I just can’t ignore my gut. My gut doesn’t like her. It closes up so tight when I’m around her. I couldn’t even get a grain of rice to go through.
I know everyone else sees her smile and her mediocre, overly tried fashion sense as unthreatening and kind. She’s just a sweet ordinary girl. But I know there is a snake’s tongue behind that toothy smile.
I know she’s the type of girl who has so many ulterior motives she’s forgotten what her main motive is. I tried to hang out with her once. I invited her out to dinner.
Maybe she invited me? I don’t remember.
I just remember gulping a few times before sitting down with her because I knew it was going to be a night with a lot fake smiling.
I tried to have an open mind. I really did.
Maybe something about this girl was interesting.
Maybe something about her ugly, ugly necklace was beautiful.
I kept gulping.
It turns out she was just as boring as I expected.
If our conversation was a pool it would be three feet deep.
An awkward depth.
One where you’re not fully in the water and you’re not fully out.
I was wondering what the hell I was doing in the water?
With this weird lady.
That I hate.
Is hate a strong word ?
Can’t strong words be good?
I don’t want to be one of the people who lives their whole lives using weak words.
Maybe that’s why I didn’t like this girl.
She was a pile of weak words
She was everything I hoped I would never be.
The girl who always tries to be extra nice to be liked.
The girl who wore trendy clothes even though they looked absolutely horrible on her.
Being with her made me feel bad. She didn’t even know. She didn’t even realize that to me, she was like a gum wrapper that flew in the wind by accident. I never liked to litter but I don’t chase gum wrappers.
I got up from my seat so excited. Excited to end this. Excited to rush home and relish in my concerning anti-social behavior. If this is what making friends is like, then I’m not missing out on anything. I’d rather be lonely.
My loneliness is something I treasure. I grew up as an only child. My brain developed to the sound of silence. Silence is the sound the soul likes. It’s the sound that makes the soul poke it’s head out to play.
That is why only children are weird.
They’ve been playing in their silence since childhood.
It’s why Harriet The Spy made her best friend her journal.
It’s why Matilda spent all her time at the library (well, Matilda wasn’t an only child, but she was in the sense that her family didn’t understand her).
So they both retreated to books to read and write so they could have conversations with people who aren’t there.
Every word read is a voice you get to listen to you.
Every word written is your voice escaping without being interrupted, without being judged.
These words, these written words, going in and out of you are good enough to feel like a conversation when you do it often enough.
And when you grow up having conversations with authors…
when you grow up writing down your most vulnerable thoughts into journals…
you end up feeling like big ink blobs in places where dainty little periods should be.
And people read you and they like you but they say “What’s with the big ink blobs?”and you shrug because you don’t know and you grab your paper back and go hide in a cave because forget this shit.
I’m a natural when it comes to connecting with people online but people, like real-life human beings are just difficult for me to connect with.
I want to talk about philosophy or economics within the first ten minutes and my friend goes “You can’t do that Alex. You need to have small talk first.” My friend grew up with way more social interactions than I had.
She had siblings. She had soccer practice. She had tutoring. She had plays and recitals and all that stuff you see on TV. She knew how to have small talk.
I had chocolate pudding and a computer.
I had a CD player and a journal.
I had grown ups and books.
“You don’t know me.” Is what I kept thinking at this dinner with this woman. “You don’t know me and you will never know me. We are scratching empty walls by sitting down and having a conversation. I cannot open up to you. If I did, you wouldn’t get it.
What do we have in common? Skin and hair is not enough. What about your mind? What about your thoughts? What are you thinking? What are you creating? What are you realizing? Anything real? I didn’t think so.
And then my friend says “Well, you see Alex, with that attitude, you’ll always be lonely.”
But oh, my loneliness is my companion. It’s been there. It’s creative. It’s deep. It’s real. It is my best friend.
That’s the thing about loneliness, it’s like doing your own makeup, after a while, if you’re left on your own, you’ll be better at it yourself than anyone else and everyone else will seem like a mysterious plant that dies every time you get near it.
Water it. They say.
I watered it.
Put it in the sun they say.
I put it in the sun.
Give it time they say and then I just walk away because I’m not sure if I can give it time and plus it looked like it was dying the day that I first watered it.
This is too complicated. Can’t I stay in my cave? Can’t I just ignore the grumbles of my loneliness for the rest of my life? Will I really ever have to deal with this?
I wonder often that maybe we are not "artists", maybe we are just lonely. And when you’re lonely, your soul pops out and when your soul pops out it creates and explores magical things. And when you operate out of your soul, you clash with people who don’t.
And so of course we are lonely. People like that will only make you feel lonelier. But it will also make you more satisfied than anything you’ve ever felt. And it’s almost like you’d keep this loneliness, this creative loneliness, for the exchange of shallow social interactions. It’s almost like the loneliness that will kill you is the same loneliness that will keep you alive.
Thank you for reading this piece. I don’t have a book recommendation today but a reader of mine, Monique, asked me what my personality type was and sent me this quiz to figure it out. You should do it! The results are freaky accurate each time and they give you pages and pages of information about your personality type to indulge in.
It turns out, I’m a “Logician” which is a nice way of saying “total fucking anti-social, bookish weirdo” which is why I decided to share this piece because I think it’s definitely the experience of a logician/analyst personality type has when going out into the world and making friends.