Would you like a girlfriend?

“Would you like a girlfriend?”

 

“No.”

 

“Why not?”

 

“I’m not ready for one.”

 

“Many people start a relationship before they’re ready for one.”

 

“I’m not the person I want to be yet.”

“You don’t have to be successful before you love someone, or before someone loves you.”

 

He shook his head. “It’s not about success. It’s about personality. I don’t have the personality I want to have yet. I don’t want someone who loves me the way I am, I want someone who loves the me I want to be.”

 

“You evoke who you want to be by interaction.”

 

“Promises about who I want to be are cheap. Anyone can want to be anything.”

 

“Who do you want to be?”

 

Silence. “That’s the thing. I don’t know how to say it. I want to be more… creative, artistic, spontaneous, interesting. But that doesn’t really capture it. Because there are a lot of ways to be those things. I think there’s some brightness I see, if I close my eyes, like a personal god. Super-me.”

 

“People help each other become who they want to be.”

 

“I have trouble being open with people. It’s why I feel like I don’t have friends. It’s not because other people haven’t been friendly to me. It’s because I don’t tell them the thoughts that go through my head. There’s so many of them. And if I don’t tell them the first time, then I don’t tell them the second time, or the third time. It’s like we’re friends in whatever we do, like tennis or traveling or organic chemistry. And that’s it.”

 

“Do you feel insecure around other people? Like they wouldn’t accept you if you were open?”

 

Pause. “It’s not about insecurity. At least… I don’t think so. It’s that the character of my thoughts feel so different from what I think that other people think about, based on what they say. It’s that it’s hard even to put my thoughts into words. I talk to myself in my head, but I can’t say those thoughts out loud, because they’re against the backdrop of a conversation I’ve been having with myself since the beginning of my time, and I can’t communicate that whole conversation.”

 

“So, it’s not that you don’t want to communicate, it’s that you feel like you can’t.”

 

He nodded. “I have a fixed persona around other people. To them I am who I am when I meet them. It’s just… frozen. That’s why I can’t have a relationship, until I am who I want to be. Else I’d just be frozen as I am now, going through all the motions of interaction even when my mind’s moved on.”

 

“But do you think maybe that you are frozen only because you think you are frozen? Is that what super-you would think?”

 

“I don’t know. It’s just that… I feel like I grow most when I am alone. Seeing people with great personalities – that helps, though. Definitely.”

 

“What you told me today – would you say that’s more than you told other people? Is it like the kind of thoughts that you can’t communicate?”
“The beginning. Like the cap to a big big bottle.”

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