When I was in elementary school, there was a boy, I think a grade ahead of me, who was surprisingly nice to me. I think, and I apologize to him ahead of time if I’m wrong, his name was Brandon. He was a somewhat heavyset boy, with sort of spiky hair, and didn’t seem very popular. Given the fact I was even more unpopular than Brandon, I think that’s why he took a somewhat liking to me in terms of friendship. We were both kind of weird and unliked, and I think he thought we had some sort of outsider bond.
For reasons that will forever remain beyond my comprehension, Brandon started calling me Sparky. Maybe it was because, as a little girl, I had the tendency to act like a dog. Listen, I said I was uncool, alright? Need I spell it out for you any further than that? I liked pretending I was something else, mostly because I hated being a person, and I loved dogs, so. Brandon eventually started calling me Sparky all the time, and gave up on remembering my actual name, which was fine by me. When time came for us to go to different schools thanks to graduation, he wrote in my yearbook, “See ya Sparky! Call me!” and included his phone number. I never called him.
I did this quite often. I had a habit of meeting people who might actually be interested in being friends with me, who gave me their contact information, whom I just never initiated contact with after that fact. I think a part of it was the fact that I was an extremely introverted child, plus I wasn’t really used to people, especially people my age, being nice to me, which made me super wary, but I also think I just felt like I didn’t need anyone. I think I didn’t want to need anyone, because the people I actually needed, like my parents, had already abandoned me in terms of emotional help or helping me with school. I felt so let down, why bother letting other people in just to have them let me down as well?
These days, I still have to tell myself that it’s okay to want people, even need people, and that I don’t have to be alone. Don’t get me wrong, I like being alone, but I don’t have to be if I don’t want to be.
The thing is, it’s been hard to let myself accept that I don’t have to be alone. That I’m not meant to be alone. When everyone leaves you your whole life, when people hurt you your whole life, when that’s the message you’ve gotten the entire time you’ve been alive…it becomes very hard to not believe that, but I’m learning. I’m accepting it. I’m accepting that some people want to be my friend, some people like me and find me interesting, and my girlfriend loves me. It’s been hard, but I’m doing it.
So here’s to you, Brandon, from your loyal dog Sparky, by the power of hindsight, for teaching an old dog new tricks.
I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I make, like my depressing webcomic “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry”, the satirical online newspaper of “Nowhere, US”, my podcast “Coping With Tonal Shifts In Reality” or my writing over at Medium. Also, I collected all the fiction, poetry and some new pieces from this blog and am selling it over at Payhip for cheap, cheap cheap!
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