What is Dead Men Tell No Tales? It is a selection of (hitherto) undisclosed, private ruminations and epiphanies. Most take the form of (slightly) edited letters to unnamed recipients, but some have been scavenged from the depths of private journals recently rediscovered. Over the next little while (however long it takes – days, weeks, months, years?) I’ll be posting them in episodic fashion for the reading pleasure of my nonexistent audience.
In Epic Catastrophe, our young author makes a series of unfortunate miscalculations and mistakes with one KL. Setting The Tone is aptly named, as helping KL with her relationships will become something of a theme for our relations.
[In response to an email where she tries to cheer me up with mundane details about her daily business and a crush with G.:]
I am completely not busy. I may be working for a few hours on Sunday. Otherwise, I’m sleeping and doing nothing.
Having confidence in oneself is a tricky matter. You accuse(d) me of lacking confidence in myself, but that is something I have in spades. The desire to be around people is not. I am confident that if all I wanted was company, I could be charming enough to have many ‘friends.’ It’s not a matter of believing anything about myself. It’s all a matter of desire. At times, I think I desire company – but when it comes time to seize the opportunity, I’m usually a callous, taciturn asshole. I shy away from contact. It’s all so much bullshit, and I just plain tire of people.
I stopped paying attention to crushes, for the most part, after the upteenth one failed. It has almost always, in every situation of my life (not just crushes) proved better to keep my feelings to myself – even when people ask me what they are. I have had plenty of crushes that match your crush for Garrett. I bet you have had some before that are similar. This is a time when Kierkegaard comes in handy: “I see it all perfectly; there are two possible situations – one can either do this or that. My honest opinion and my friendly advice is this: do it or do not do it – you will regret both.”
Homework makes you feel worthy and happy? I mostly just wanted to shoot myself when doing homework.
[She responds, says she is feeling melancholy, and so I feel a bit guilty:]
My honest opinion and friendly advice is this – you’re better off simply telling G how you feel and going from there. You can either waste months or years agonizing over your feelings for him while you continue to wonder if they are reciprocated, or you can get it over with shortly – either he’ll like you back and everything’s gravy, or he won’t and it’ll suck. But in the long run, it’s much better off that way – a friendship built upon secret crushes is always messy and overhaul you’ll have less anxiety and worry and other negative feelings. I prefer to build friendships on a foundation of honesty, and if you get your feelings out there at least you two can discuss it and decide how best to move forward.
There. That was me being uncharacteristically helpful, because you said you were melancholy. Although I don’t know if the advice will cheer you up much.
I don’t know what I’m looking for, and lives are cheap when there are 6 billion of them.
[She replies that – shocker – my advice worked. I respond:]
Many people make the false assumption that because I am alone and aloof and an asshole, I do not know how to connect with others.
That is simply not the case.
Likewise, they assume me unlearned in the art of attraction. Again, that is not the case. I am capable of offering wise and practical advice on any number of endeavors. Because I choose to remain alone doesn’t mean I can’t offer good advice.
What happens when you don’t have anyone you love? How precious is life, then? And what happens when all of the people that society leads you to believe SHOULD love you, don’t?
But yes, you can’t recover someone you lost to death. Though death might be easier to cope with than losing someone for mysterious reasons – you know, not being able to talk to your (former) best friend even though they live in the same town and have the same phone number (but won’t answer or return your calls). At least loneliness borne of death is LOGICAL.
My problem is not that I don’t know how to get what I want. My problem is that I don’t know what I want. I can’t remember how long it’s been since I tossed suicide around in my head, but from a very early age (probably earlier than most people should be making such decisions) I resolved not to take my own life – if only because it was “quitting,” and I didn’t want to be a “quitter.” And yes, that is the phraseology of a pre-teen for you.
What is there to want in a world so ugly, so full of hate and betrayal and greed and selfishness? There is only want for the end.
By the way, I’m trying to be pleasant (more accurately, but less grammatically acceptable, I’m trying to not be unpleasant) but, like I said, I warned ya’. There was a period there, where I was interested in getting to know people and being friends with people. Now I am back to business as usual, and generally prefer to be by myself. I’m not telling you this so that you’ll quit, necessarily, but just so you’ll understand where I’m coming from. There are still times where I like to converse, every now and again – it just so happens that I rarely am actually able to CONVERSE at those times.
And not to sound snobby or arrogant, but I generally think that people have more to get out of a relationship with me than I have to get out of one with them. A long time ago, I got sick and fucking tired of being used, and that’s part of the reason I’m such a huge asshole today. I get really pissed when I realize that people have, once again, basically been using me. (Recent example: LW.) Clearly, right now, it might not seem that way – because I’m being a moody dick and not trying to appear attractive. Those feelings of mine are honest – but can you imagine me NOT that way? I’d actually be pretty pleasant to know, and it’s not very difficult for me to flip the switch and keep the baggage in tow – I do it all the time.
This is why I virtually have only one friend right now. He is probably more intelligent than me, but at any rate, we view each other somewhat as equals and look to each other whenever we need perspective. We can be open and honest and without fear of judgment from the other person and we can talk about ANYTHING. Other relationships lose their appeal to me when people start making judgments when they have no fucking clue what they’re talking about, or when they start offering advice when they have no fucking clue of what they are talking about, or when their perspective on the world is built upon illusions.
As I said, I am not alone and miserable due to some kind of failing from within – granted, I have a few things I could work on with myself – but rather because it is a response to failings from without. Do not misinterpret this as me blaming my “woe” on outside conditions either – this is a choice I consciously make on a nearly daily basis. I make this decision any time I notice a cute girl glancing my way, any time you reach out, any time my brother asks me how things are and I hesitate, and so on. I *prefer* isolation to any kind of cheap imitation of intimacy. I *prefer* sorrow to any kind of sham of happiness. I *prefer* that which is honest, true, and *real.*