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.
I think there is some kind of misunderstanding going on here. You seem to be assuming that I am in need of you – in one capacity or another. Maybe you think I’m just going through a phase, maybe you think I’ll “come out of it,” but it seems to me that you don’t get it. This isn’t a phase – the world disappoints me. I refuse to compromise myself or the things that matter to me to have more “friends” or to partake in some illusory “happiness.”
I said that I am trying not to be unpleasant – that is subtly but importantly different from trying to be pleasant. One is trying to be neutral, the other is trying to be positive. Yet you thanked me for trying to be pleasant. You say you are not trying to make judgments yet you phrase things sloppily – as you did with your views about the nature of reality (which while basically correct, was sloppily stated and could be interpreted as condescending). Worse still, you write this behavior off as just being a messy person who makes mistakes.
Everyone makes mistakes. Life is not about patience. Life is about making mistakes, and most importantly, how you rectify those mistakes that you have made. Stated another way: It is about learning through trial and error, with the intent to make yourself a better person. Now, at least you realize you are making mistakes – most people don’t even come that far – but you’re not doing anything about it, and that’s no good either. Apologies never mean much until they are backed up with actions.
I do not doubt that you are there and that you care, just as much as I don’t doubt that my mother is there and that she too cares. Being there and caring does not necessitate a desire on my part to communicate, however. I do not mean to draw a comparison between you and my mother, but I do mean to illustrate that persistence does not mean too much to me. (I am not a high school, and you do not get a diploma for attending for four years.) It means enough that I will at least tell you what you are doing wrong, and give you a chance to prove yourself. Again, I’m not trying to be an arrogant asshole – just trying to tell you how it is. There are plenty of people I don’t even tell this much to, because I don’t like them enough or because I don’t think they’d take it the right way.
In a similar vein, good intentions tend not to mean much to me. I do not judge you as harshly if you have good intentions, but at the same time, good intentions lacking good deeds will not grant you any favors from me. Good intentions created the atomic bomb, started the Crusades, brought about the Holocaust, and a host of other terrible things. Fuck, I’d go as far as to argue that everyone is good intentioned in their own mind.
There is little trust or intimacy between us because thus far, you have shown yourself to be incapable of understanding my feelings. It is not so much because I am afraid of being hurt again. When I was younger, less in touch with myself, and had done less reflection, I’d be hurt when people responded awkwardly to my feelings. This was simply a result of my carelessness – I shared my feelings with people incapable of understanding and appreciating them. I would not be hurt sharing my feelings with you – there would just be little point in the activity, because I don’t think you could be receptive to them in a way that would be conducive to true intimacy or understanding.
It would also be painful for me to be in a constant state of waiting and hoping that the person I was talking to – who was somewhat flawed but seemed to have a good foundation – would suddenly become worthy of my feelings. I would feel “betrayed” for investing so much time into that person without ever seeing a return. But again, that was just an error on my part. I was not being fair. (See? I make mistakes too. Me telling you all this is my attempt at doing things in a better way. There can be two outcomes from this email – either you agree with it and try to improve yourself, or you think I’m a cocksure asshole and never talk to me again. Either outcome is acceptable for me, so I have nothing to lose.)
Take it all with a grain of salt. Believe in whatever you want to believe. I would hope that the core tenets of my world view – logic, rationality, honesty, integrity, self-improvement – would be cogent in and of themselves. But no one is forcing you to listen to me or to adopt my metaphysics. Like you tried to say, there are no absolute or objective truths. Rather, if there are, they are impossible to prove as such. In that case, one must pick a philosophy to live by which makes the most sense to them – mine is based on the sensory experience of what can only be the real world. Sure, we could all be living in the Matrix, but there’s no evidence to suggest such a thing (and besides, even if we were, such knowledge seems irrelevant to everyday living, so who gives a fuck?). You can choose to live under a metaphysic that provides you illusory happiness, but that is not my cup of tea, and should you adopt such a standpoint, you could likely expect to hear a lot less of my mind.