A group of girls are hanging out opposite the cafe where I’m sitting, alone right now because the two people I was sitting with have just spotted some friends and are chatting up. It’s sort of an alone time in the middle of a rather loud evening. Amongst the twelve girls a few are familiar. They were in college with me. I’m a bit jealous of the group.
I have a group too and when all of them get together it’s something I wouldn’t give up for the world (I’ll try. Anyway I hold on to all the un-lucrative avenues of life).
The reason I’m jealous is I don’t have an exclusive girl gang. I have girl friends. A few. No truly, there were a few. Now there’s just one. One girl who is truly my friend.
Very recently a Prof. of mine caught me red handed – “you don’t trust people! Learn to trust.” He’s right. I pretended he’s not but yeah I don’t trust people. I don’t even (actually can’t) want to change it.
I guess I’m an unsocial person. I’m scared to look at people straight in the eye. Afraid I’ll stare or afraid to give away I’m bored. For some strange discomfort I keep shifting my gaze rather uncomfortably. And it makes me act all weird.
The worst deal is I’m so involved with my eyes and looking at the speaker that I completely lose out on the conversation. Instead I have a parallel narration going on in my head. “Is it inappropriate to look at the eyes for so long? How is person sitting next to me using his eyes or is it disrespectful not to look at the eyes when someone’s talking? Ummm… If I keep looking long enough will it look like I’m spaced out? Oh! She’s got brown eyes! Oh! He blinks a lot!” A whole series of monologue is playing out without me even asking for it. I just want the conversation to end. I just want to look away. It generally helps when there’s a cup of something to drink or a cigarette to puff away at, gives me an occupation to fill up these odd minutes.
Then follows the less challenging but equally difficult bit of responding. Mostly, I start with a sigh and a sympathetic nod. Then a quick look up. If the speaker has started speaking accepting my silent reply then the above described ensues again but if they are waiting for a more constructive piece of reply or are shaking their head in dismay about whatever they had just described then I’d fish up something to say after much thought and then I’d be lost in a sea of doubt, “was this lame/ inappropriate/ dull? Is the speaker judging me?” Etc.
I love hanging out with people but I wonder why I have to be so awkward. Particularly with people who are more than acquaintances. Basically, the people who matter.
Thankfully, once I manage to embarrass myself enough and when the speaker has showed interest in my company even after knowing my lack of skills or have discovered something more about me (a lot more) other than my social skills, I become confident. They sort of crawl over to the friend circle.
Basically, anyone I don’t have to struggle to talk to is a friend.
And I have very few of those (to be honest).
And of all the girls I know, R is the only she friend I have got.
Mostly I don’t get along with girls. Hanging out with guys is much easier somehow. I can be my usual blunt self. Girls take offence easily or worse someone might start talking about shopping (which happens quite frequently).
But my dear R is unwell (for quite some time now). I need her to get well soon so we can commence our random junk munching and drinking sprees and Derrida discussing. She can laugh out loud; her simple uncomplicated honest laughter and I can be blunt without thinking “she will mind.” She can tell me when she minds and I can blurt out an honest apology.
Get Well Soon Changubai ❤