Afterlife Of The Party

Ghosts

photo credit by coyotefugly

I don’t do well in social situations.

Some of this can be attributed to my autism, some of it can be attributed to the fact that I just feel completely out of place everywhere. I mean, feeling out of place in an existential crisis kind of way is one thing, and I deal with that every single day, but add feeling out of place to every social situation you can dream up and suddenly you get Intro to Introverts 101. It’s not that I go out of my way to be afraid of people, or the public. I mean, I’m not a huge fan of either, but I also don’t want to be completely cut off from human contact. When I was about 17, I went to a party at a small building downtown with a friend of mine for Halloween. She was the only one I knew there, and she left me alone to go dance and go smoke out on the patio. I am not the kind of person you should leave alone at any social event. I don’t make the first move in small talk, so it’s not like I’m going to approach someone, and when someone approaches me, I’m usually so shocked by their willingness to interact with me that I become flustered and unsure of what to say, so I simply trail off into special interests that mean nothing to no one except me, making me sound like an egomaniac who can’t discuss anything but herself or what she likes, thus inevitably driving the person away.

So, I’m trying to be more positive. I’m trying to be better about this problem. Still…crowds, with flashing lights, with hard pounding bass music which I can’t stand coupled with both introvert tendencies and autistic symptoms means I can handle each one of those things….separately. I can listen to loud music. But only when it’s not coupled with lots of people and flashing lots. Likewise, I’m much more comfortable speaking to lots of people, if there’s nothing else going on that I’m supposed to be reacting to. Also, I can’t dance. I often find myself feeling like a ghost. Someone who’s died and is now simply watching life continue from the seat of a worn out couch with god knows how many semen stains on it, drinking pepsi and listening to “so and so got a job at random place and now blah blah blah i couldn’t care less someone please shoot me right in the face”. I’m barely interested in a lot of the conversations I’m involved with, but listening to other people, especially with no context, jesus that’s tedious. I don’t know Ben, so why should I care what kind of car Ben drives? I know nothing about Ben, and therefore am super uninterested in every single fucking action of his life. Hell, I have a hard enough time being interested in the lives of those I DO know. And not because I’m selfish and self centered and egotistical, but just because I genuinely suck at being a person.

It’s a problem. It’s a problem for me, and for others. I feel like a bad person because I lack the ability to connect to 97 1/3% of humanity, and they feel bad because I make them feel uncomfortable. Connection; it’s supposed to make humans closer. It’s what we’re supposed to bond over. Our single unified being. I don’t want to be this alone and introverted and uncomfortable but I am and I just have to learn to accept that, and hope others do too. I’m sorry that I’m not enjoying your party where everyone is drunk and you’re blaring Black Eyed Peas at 3 a.m. I’m sorry that I would much rather be home using a Ouija Board to play 20 questions with Virginia Woolf. I’m not a fun person. But that doesn’t make me a bad person. I’m a ghost. I’m ok with being a ghost. People watching, observing, these are the things that allow me to write fictional characters and dialogue so well. It’s how I learn. Not only how to write, but also how to mimic neurotypical behavior and seem “normal” to everyone else on the rare off chance that I do decide to participate.

Maybe one day I’ll get better at this whole “person” thing, but until then I’ll continue to be a spirit on a couch, drinking DIEt Soda.

If you’d like to purchase a magnet/sticker or print of this piece, e-mail me at coyotefuglyblog@gmail.com!

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