I’ve got no friends. Okay, that’s not exactly true. I have friends on social media, but I don’t have any friends in the city I live in. Okay, that’s not exactly true either. I do have friends in the city I live in, but, well, I guess that’s where the definition of what is and isn’t a “friend” comes into play. However, given that I’ve written at length on the subject in my old blog (greenpygmies.com) I won’t hear, I’ll simply summarize this paragraph by saying whatever most people define or consider a friend isn’t something (outside of my marriage) that I have within walking or reasonably short driving distances.
After a couple of months I finally got out to the gym tonight. The reason I bring that up is not so much additional commentary on my ongoing health struggles but to say I was trying to organize blog entries in my mind while on the treadmill. Admittedly, I’m not doing a great job. Disjointed, here are more points on friendship and the like, for me at least.
I went out for a few drinks last Friday. I had short talks with some of the bartenders, who are my “friends”. I also talked to a number of regulars. Also my “friends”. I met two guys who think American’s should be able to 3D print any weapon they want, one of whom was convinced the end of civilization was not too far off in the distance. Both of them were single serving friends (see Fight Club). Met my friend M who is a bartender there but had the day off. Sweet guy. He’s probably more of a “friend” than anyone else at the dive as we’ve had a few intimate/private conversations that have lasted up to thirty minutes. Met and spoke with two different women. I guess they’re friends too, if for no other reason than women don’t tend to talk to me (or to strange men at bars unless they’re confident and/or intentionally looking for socialization of some sort or another). I’ve explained this to my wife a number of times. Despite her family being in Europe, she video chats with them weekly and for hours at a time. And she has friends in and around our place she can reach out to, people who would show up at the front door if she needed someone to talk with or a shoulder to cry on. Can’t say I have that. So I sometimes go to the local dive and, if I’m not in the mood to simply people watch, I engage in single serving conversations which, although table scraps in the bigger emotional picture of life as a social creature, are better than sitting at home trying to keep busy so I’m no so cognizant of how socially vacant my life is (and in some respects has usually been).
For most of my life I’ve usually had only one friend at a time. A lot of reasons for that. For one thing, I was extremely shy as a kid—and as I’ve mentioned I’m most likely autistic (that is I am, but haven’t been formally diagnosed)—so when I did make a human connection with a peer it was my world and I didn’t need much outside of that. Also, and frankly, as soon as you add a third person things get messier; that’s just part of life. If I did have more than two friends, i.e. some kind of social group, I was usually not in the inner circle; to put it in chemistry terms, the more electrons (people) the group consisted off, the more likely I’d be the one to flung off on my own (heavy metals, dude). And in those cases I had two friends that had never been introduced I’d get us all together and they’d inevitably decide they didn’t like each other (in one case I remember the two spending the entire recess screaming and daring each other to throw the first punch—and I think it was over something stupid like what’s the better car manufacturer). I’ve had theories about this over the years. One is that I’ve generally been able to befriend people who are very different from me, both out of capability/openness and, frankly, beggars can’t be choosers, so, when I have two friends I’ve met at different times/places in my life they’re statistically going to be much more different than you’re average Joe doing the same thing, so the probably of them not getting along goes up. And then there’s just the intensity of which I tend to engage in friendship. I’m all there. I’m in your face. I’m listening. I’m paying attention. It’s a hand shake with conscious effort, reflection, adaptation, warmth. This carries especially over into romantic relationships so it seems, I sometimes think, when I’ve given that all to one person, then want to add a friendship into that equation, it’s like shaking the boat. Well, sometimes that’s happened. Sometimes not. The point I was trying to end up on, at least in regard to romantic relationships, is typically when I have one it’s 90 – 100% of my social life because a) it’s easier and b) I don’t want to fuck things up.
As I write that terrible garbled listed of ideas out I can’t help but recognize how shit my ability to articulate my thoughts has become over the last several months. Indeed, nearly every sentence from the previous paragraph should be its own paragraph, if not an individual blob entry. I’m barely doing any of the ideas any justice except to blabber out some barely coherent idea that I don’t have friends and there are some legitimate reasons why, like one I forgot to ramble on about, that when you spend 10 years with undiagnosed Lyme and are doing it 100% on your own all your spoons go towards 1) staying alive, 2) keeping your job, 3) keeping a roof over your head and food on the table—and then after the whole Lyme thing I haven’t exactly made an effort to make friends because I a) feel too old for the bullshit games that I’ve always experienced with nuerotypicals, b) I don’t have the energy, c) I don’t want to rock the boat of my marriage (by making friends my wife won’t life—which is a thing I implied above with relationships and yes, has occurred in my marriage multiple times), and d) for the most part I’m completely happy doing my own thing have as long as I’m able to have a somewhat substantive single serving friend once a week or so.
On the bright side, over the past several months I’ve reconnected with an old, real friend from my real life on Facebook, someone from my childhood. Feeling very positive about that. And I do have a few friends I’ve had in real life, also don’t live anywhere nearby, but if I needed someone to call I think they’d make time to listen. But then again, I don’t know if I want to anymore. I used to be open to being extremely vulnerable with people. Hell, you could argue it’s a very common autistic trait: you’re either all open or you’re all closed without much in between. Feel very worn out with all that, being open when most people are quasi not sure if they’re open or closed and always going back and forth. Blah, blah, blah. On that note, it’s been awhile since I’ve called my mom so I’m going to go out for a nip, give her a ring, maybe see one of my single serving friends, and if the stars are in alignment, have a conversation longer than 1 minute that goes above and beyond the how are you’s and hey, there’s the sky, check it out, that meets some kind of need to have a conversation not simply do a little social dance to determine if we’re of the same fabric. Fuck, I don’t care; I don’t think I’m of the same fabric as 99% of people. I just want people who know how to dance, dance with hearts, minds, and ideas.
Ironic, I can smell cat shit wafting in from the garage and this entry is shit. But at least I’m writing again. I may be that old guy on public access showing you what’s in my fridge, but goddamnit, I’m writing.