Just how did I choose my friends?
I wouldn’t have called them friends. They were the people I hung out with when I was in college. Mostly because they played Dungeons and Dragons and I had wanted to get a view into that game. I haven’t heard much from them since I left college and I haven’t sought contact. They didn’t like me enough to want to keep in touch. I felt ashamed of what I suffered from, from what I became.
Those years — those years are supposed to be the ones where you establish the life long relationships that are the basis for family and work. I let them all go like ochre crumbs in the wind. I’ve felt guilty about that and about all the wasted time I spent with people who questioned my intelligence because I wasn’t a science major, because in my depressions I could be slow to speak and confused. There was one woman who liked to tease me and laugh at my withheld rages. I thought of her this afternoon. Don’t know why. That whole crowd just came to mind.
Confucius says that we must forget our slights. Those weren’t his exact words — there was more poetry about it — but you get the picture. So when these memories came into my head, I asked myself why I was thinking of them. That doesn’t follow the analect. I should just have just not paid them any heed. Yet I remain to myself my most interesting subject for writing and the most dangerous. Touch these people and a week becomes badly electrified, little shocks and tremors, the lightning of the blues.
For company I have the hum of computers and an overhead fan plus the tapping of my fingers on a keyboard. Another item from Confucius: try not to be noticed, but to be worthy of notice. Could that be where I have been going wrong all these years? Well, sometimes, I think, I did it right for short whiles.
Wafting and falling, wafting and falling. I had to ride the disease and I kept that pattern to myself. I surrounded myself with people who would not be interested in my confidences and that was my protection. It kept me out of the psychiatrist’s hands, which I thought was a good. Now I meet people through the support group meetings who in their fudging with words and whole sentences remind me of the frightened man who was. Now I am not so frightened because I am not around the people who belittled me. But I remain phobic of making friends who are not of the Disease.