Nothing is as bad experienced as you imagined, even when it’s worse than you imagined
I can’t stop dreaming of dead people. Other than some residual grief, I don’t have faith it means anything.
I may get back to work soon. I don’t want to. Mostly, I have to. The money will run out soon otherwise. Poverty is when there’s too much month left at the end of the money, or many too many years. We all have in us the capacity to be wealthy someday, for one day.
I’ll finally be getting back a collection of my things someone else has kept for me for about two years now. The stuff itself, I don’t really care that much about. Having it back would be nice, but if it had been lost in a fire or tossed out, I can’t say I’d been much affected. What was so frustrating, irritating to the point of infuriating, was having to interact with the person who had it.
He’d always been bad about making plans, exceptionally and transparently selfish about what he wanted when he made contact with you. Sometimes that was a favor, but he often seemed genuinely to want to maintain a relationship except not be willing to put any work into it, including never making firm plans and canceling the ones he did make.
It was a bad sort of parody of a Seattleite. ‘Oh man! We should hang out some time. When are you free?’ he ask. I’d say, ‘I’m free any day till Tuesday, then I leave town.’ And then silence. Or, ‘We need to catch up! We might be able to get together Thursday. I’ll let you know.’ Except without the ever letting know.
And of course he only ever reached out to me in the first place because he wanted me to listen to his latest song or old recordings put up on YouTube or whatever. The general feeling, maybe more sensed than intended, was that he either thought very little of other’s people’s time or thought nothing of it.
That, and one political argument online, were all it took to kill pretenses of a friendship. I don’t think it was really there anymore by then. But he’d intermittently wanted to pretend there was, at least when he wanted something. And this week, reaching out to me, ostensibly because he wanted to make sure I got my stuff back, he pretended again. But as I sat reading the first part of the message, I said out loud, ‘I wonder if he wants me to listen to something of his or do something else for him?’ So I made the segue for him, and I wasn’t surprised he just wanted to send me his album.
I wasn’t surprised that when I asked for a day to get my things, he gave me one—but only as a possibility. And I wasn’t surprised that when I told him that day I had obligations from noon to early evening, he said he could make it work, but he’d have to confirm it later. If he didn’t get back to me the next day or the one after, I shouldn’t hesitate to reach out to him on the one following. And I did have to reach out to him, and he said Friday would be fine, but by then, he’d already forgotten the previous message saying the only time that wouldn’t work was noon to early evening. So could I do it earlier? I said the morning was fine.
It bothers me more than probably is fully rational when someone is bad at making plans, to have to interact with someone who values me little and offers me less but be unable to get final separation Tomorrow, I finally will.
It’s wounded pride at fault. But probably at root is that at my age, I’m too old to form friendships more significant than pleasant and convenient acquaintanceships.
There is such a person who works in the equivalent of summer camp and seems incapable of realizing he’s old enough now that he ought to behave like the camp counselor and stop trying to act like he’s one of the campers just because he feels that way himself. No one else feels that way about him. Age works in only one direction.
He complained about his depression, his inability to get out of bed most days, but how fortunate it is to work at a place that lets him call out with not more than a little bit of notice, let’s him stay employed. And it may be that I’ve never experienced true depression, but I’ve awoke in misery and despair and only gotten to work by virtue of telling myself I can’t call out till I get to the office and do it in person. Sometimes, I am sick enough that I say, ‘Nope, I can’t do it today.’ But usually, I lose the nerve and inertia takes over.
Depression is real but so is inertia. Nothing is as bad experienced as you imagined, even when it’s worse than you imagined. So it’s an easier choice to continue since it’s not really choosing, just following some prior choice.