One of the things it took me to get this far (in life) was the assistance of allies. Specifically badass chicks who gave no fucks. They took me in out of kindness. I didn’t threaten them like I do most women. Most women don’t know what to do with me. I’m too straightforward, which they interpret as aggressive, I refuse to engage in plan making that takes multiple conversations about this or that useless fact or detail, and I stand out from the herd. It doesn’t make for lots of superficial friends who get together for sticky sweet drinks on Friday evenings and brunch on Sundays.
My answer to the question of brunch is always and forever a firm “no.” Except that I am currently writing this while waiting for Tyler to get our bagels at Bagel Pub. This is a once and only once occurrence. I have a dogmatic aversion to the idea of brunch.
My kinda girl drinks bourbon. Usually bottom shelf. She’s maybe slung it at more than one bar. She’s sexy, she intimidates women and men just lust after her. She knows all of this and takes it in stride. She puts an effort in but looks effortless.
What did these women teach me? First off, they allowed me to hang back and observe. I just want to watch, get the temperature of the the room, the event, the conversation. I want to see how someone handles themselves. So I just went wherever these girls went. My level of anxiety in meeting new people in new situations in public places used to be an 11. I didn’t know how to even begin to human. But, with enough of these outings, I eventually learned all that I needed.
Now I come off as smooth and aloof, even among my neurotypical friends. It’s half act, half realization that very, very, very little in this life deserves anxiety or energy. Things happen or they don’t. If they’re important enough, I’ll have a contingency plan for when and if they don’t happen. And if they’re not important, I’m not gonna sweat it because something else will come along.
It’s probably been about a year and a half of living like this. I decided that I was not going to be that New Yorker. I would bend the city to my will. I’d have it my way or no way at all, because I could live like a neurotic in Tucson. They have decent bagels there.
And it’s worked out swimmingly.
Those two seminal (oval?) friendships that really helped me with this affect-turned-philosophy are both out of my life now. They taught me how to leave them. They both harped on telling people to fuck off if they ever got to be cruel or careless.
When each of them did become cruel, I said goodbye, which is exactly what should happen. Neither of them took it well. But you can’t teach someone to enforce boundaries and then expect them not to enforce those boundaries with you.
I thank them. I miss them. I wish them well. I hope to see them again on good terms. And now, it’s my turn to be the person for others. Not everyone is ready to be Miyagi’d. I get the occasional hanger onner who wants the ephemeral cool I now emit, but they want it the way leeches want blood. They can’t hang back, study, take notes and then do it for themselves. So I have to enforce my boundaries with them too. I’m not here to be used and forgotten. I’m here to pass on a tradition to the student who is ready to learn.