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Perception & Reality

‘I want someone to love me for who I am,’ people tend to say. The unspoken subtext to that statement, though, is almost always, ‘Not you, obviously, but someone I’m actually attracted to.’ Because the infinite divide between lover and loser hasn’t really got a thing to do with you or what you think, or the use of consonants, it’s really just a matter of what someone else’s perception is. And sadly, it takes some people quite a while to figure that out. But once you’ve got that sorted it’s like having a wooden stake rammed through your heart and then being dragged hissing into the harsh sunlight of absolutely crystal clear reality to struggle and burn.

It’s not their fault, of course, the other person, as much as you’d like to blame them – or anyone else – because it’s always easier not to be accountable for your own thoughts and actions, isn’t it? No, that fault is entirely your own. Your funny little make-believe world you’ve tried to impose on someone else’s reality is quite like grafting a human head on a dog. Sure it’s all very fascinating and everything, but ultimately it’s an ugly thing and doesn’t fit terribly well. And probably the other person doesn’t like dogs anyway. And you’re pretty stupid for thinking it would work out.

‘Someday someone is going to look at you with a light in their eyes you’ve never seen,’ states a popular internet meme. ‘They’ll look at you like you’re everything they’ve been looking for their entire lives. Wait for it.’ And that’s a very true thing: you can, to paraphrase John Legend, love their curves and all their edges, all their perfect imperfections; you can love someone with all your heart and want everything good for them, but if you don’t fall into their general category of even the remotest possibilities of someone they’re interested in, you can look at them with whatever miraculous light you can muster, and yet your words, your thoughts, your feelings are still going to be just empty things lost in the void.

‘Bless your heart,’ they say in the South. It sounds very nice at first, but really it’s quite a polite way of saying you’re just a fucking idiot. And though I’ve been on this rock for a little over half a century now – most of it annoying, thank you – I find that I’m still a complete nob when it comes to picking up much sooner on the whole ‘Bless your heart’ thing, no matter how often it happens, and figuring out that the smartest and wisest thing to do is to just bow out and decide the pain of being alone is somewhat slightly less difficult than the pain of being meaningless.

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