Back to basics

In many ways. 

At work, we’re having accountability formations at 0800, 1130, 1300, and 1630 because people wanted to be stupid.
In life, I’m reverting back to comfortable ways.
In hobbies, I’m enjoying the old things again.
I am reminded of the word ‘cyclical.’ 

Dead Men Tell No Tales: The Mirror II: You Asked For This

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 The Mirror, our author thinks he has found a female extremely similar to him. He provides her a shoulder to cry on, but when he attempts to use his shoulder, he is met with (you guessed it) rejection. You Asked For This is a tale of the writer getting what he wanted…sort of.
[Some thoughts and feelings I shared with her before the main letter:]
One of the most troubling things to me has always been the fact that that which matters most to me tends to matter little (or not at all) to others.
This could relate to my passions as easily as it could my problems. It makes one feel very isolated from others.
I dunno. I get sick of being alone, but moreover I get sick of feeling lonely when I am supposed to have so many friends. It is for that reason that I tend to isolate myself. A loneliness borne of being alone is far easier to cope with than a loneliness in the midst of others. Does that make any sense?
[These go largely ignored for a few days, then I lay this down about a week before I ship out:]
Haha, I’m terrible. There is something about me that does not want to share the good things about myself, only the terrible ones. Like, the past few days, I have been writing again and it has felt awesome and I have been really proud of it and it has felt great.
But do I tell you about this? Nah.
I only feel motivated to get in touch with you when, out of the blue, tonight, I get in a huge fight with my brother and pretty much feel like I have no family left in the world. I only want to reach out to people when I’ve been crying for two hours. 
I am sorry for being stupid that way. I know very well why I have few friends, why those few friends barely tolerate me, and it is because I have a terrible habit of putting people in a bad mood. Part of the reason I don’t share my writing with people, for instance, is because I’ve tried to in the past only to have people shoot me down over it. I mean, it doesn’t happen all the time, but it happened and it hurt and so I stopped sharing it, but, you know, that’s just an excuse I use to justify being negative all the time.
Sorry if I’m rambly or transferring my BS onto you. I don’t mean to. I just, I’m just really conflicted. I wish I could be in kindergarten again, I really do, where it is perfectly okay and not weird to just say to someone “I like you, let’s be friends.” I wish I could feel like that again, where I could just say “I like you, wanna hang out?” Where things are that simple. Because the reverse side of that is, in kindergarten, kids either said yes or they said no. If they said no, maybe you cried for a day but you got over it and you made other friends. What seems to happen now is, people are afraid of saying no (for a good reason, they don’t want to hurt people’s feelings) but instead do something far worse, which is to lead people along and make them believe that everything is fine when it’s not.
Haha, look at me, I apologize for being rambly and shoot straight off into a ramble… ugh… 
What I’m getting at is, what I’ve meant to tell you for a while, is just, I like you and wanna be your friend. I don’t know why I have such a hard time saying it. I think you are fascinating, really interesting, I really truly do, and I’d like to get to know you better and talk more (and would have liked to hang out with you, back when that was possible), because I think you’re a good, worthwhile person. You know? That’s what I’d like to do, why I’d like to do it. 
For a long time, I guess, I’ve just been so afraid of ultimate rejection from people, and so afraid of doing things to make them not like me, that I set myself up for the kind of situations I hate. When people don’t start talks with me, I assume it is because they don’t want to talk to me, and I leave them alone – sometimes forever. There are some people I have not talked to for years, literally, because of that. I stopped starting conversations, they didn’t start any, and we just stopped talking. So I secretly put people through all these BS tests to try and figure out if they really like me or not and really want to be my friend or not and… it’s all so stupid and short sighted and blah.
Part of the reason I really like you is because I think you feel the same way about honesty as I do. And if that’s the truth, if you really feel the same way about honesty, then I think we could actually be good friends. But we just need to be honest. So I’ll be honest with you (am being honest, like really honest, right now). And just please, you know, return the favor, even if it means just telling me no. Please please, whatever your response is, please please make it honest. Because if you tell me that you also want to be friends, but you really don’t want that, I am going to try and be your friend and invest myself emotionally into something you didn’t really want, and that’ll be bad for both of us, because then I’ll be around annoying you all the time, and when I finally realize that you don’t actually want to be my friend it’ll hurt a lot more after a big investment than it would relatively up front by you just saying “nah.” 
If I sound like a broken record, sound like I keep pushing this honesty thing and not listening to you (because I know you said once before that you want to be honest) I’m sorry. I promise this’ll be the last time. I’m just so worried about you actually being honest, and want to make it clear that honesty is a good thing, will be a way better thing than dishonesty – because I had someone tell me that before, that they were being honest. In the absolute worst situation to lie in – in a relationship. They told me they were being honest, you know, and were telling me that they loved me and all that, and next thing I know, she’s admitting to not being honest, to not meaning those things, and I found out she was cheating on me and… it was bad for both of us, really bad, and far worse than if she had just been honest.
So again, sorry if this is all rambly and annoying. But I am going to take your next response and operate on the assumption that it is completely truthful, completely honest, no matter what the consequences. That way I won’t ever bring this up again. So I hope that you will be honest. I think you will be honest, actually, otherwise I wouldn’t even be asking – but, there you have it. 
And if it turns out that you’re sick of me, tired of me being weird all the time, that’s fine, but I just want to thank you for putting up with me as long as you did, because even if we haven’t been the best of friends or anything, I have enjoyed our conversations and you’ve been really helpful to me in times when I needed help, if you know it or not. (That was a long sentence.) Which is why I want to be friends with you, you know, feel like good friends – which I think can only happen on a foundation of mutual honesty and trust and all that jazz. 
I’ll shut up after this: all I want is for us to be honest, that’s it. Whether we have good things to share or bad things – I don’t care, as long as we’re honest, and I’ll try to share things that excite me and make me happy in addition to bad crap like tonight. There, that’s it, that’s what I wanted to say. If you’ve managed to read this far, thank you very much.
[At least her response, below, was honest, as I asked:]
“Ok. I don’t want to be rude or anything. But I really do want to be your friend, but there will be sometimes that I really don’t want to talk to you. I hope that makes sense. I also hope that didn’t sound rude. I honestly don’t know what else to say.”
[Then I say:]
That makes perfect sense, and you do not sound rude. Thank you. 
This is all a result of me being seriously screwed up when I met you, and me being really stupid and over-complicating everything. I can elaborate, if you want.
[She responds:]
“No thanks.”
[And that’s the end of that. I’ve since rarely talked to her – mostly just to help her out with her romantic problems, but never about myself.]

Dead Men Tell No Tales: Epic Catastrophe II: Metaphor

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. Metaphor seeks to provide context to the previous letter, as it was largely misunderstood by its recipient.
[My opening is a response to her quip about providing me with some unedited honesty.]
You want some unedited honesty? Try this (the only edit made was this disclaimer being added to the top):
As previously stated, nothing will make sense without the proper context. And each new piece of the puzzle requires yet more context to understand…I would need to relate to you the entirety of my life, but I tire of that sort of thing.
I am analogous to a character with whom I assume you have zero familiarity – Fei Fong Wong from a little thing called Xenogears. I also assume you will never experience Xenogears for yourself, so I’ll clue you in on the important details.
Fei is revealed, after much plot progression, to be suffering from a kind of multiple personality disorder. When he was a young boy, he experienced severe trauma (at the hands of his mother, no less!) that caused his true self to recede inside his mind. Another personality manifested – a personality that would later become known as “Id” in the world of Xenogears, and whom you are led to believe is a separate character until you learn the truth. In any case, the original Fei is referred to as the “coward” by Id, because the coward forced all of Fei’s negative experiences onto Id. Id becomes a reckless, homicidal killing machine of unparalleled power, until finally Fei’s father splits Id’s personality and creates a third persona (that you are first introduced to when you meet Fei).
This is analogous to what I’ve become. As a boy, I suffered trauma at the hands of my mother (emotional, however – not physical, like Fei’s). This trauma instilled in me a lack of confidence and a propensity for failure in meaningfully connecting with people I liked. I began to learn how to live apart – live alone – and even adopted the hypothesis that my dying alone was a foregone conclusion. As such, I did as much as I could to insure that scenario – sabotaging the only good relationships I had in my life and further entrenching my isolation. I became consumed by my hatred and loathing. I was similar to Id in a sense (minus, you know, killing everyone).
Then I met Haley. She, as a person, did not affect me. But the relationship further entrenched my belief that human beings, are, by their very nature, deplorable. It takes a lot to rise above our baser selves, and few do. Yet at the same time I realized that living as I had – destroying relationships, sabotaging friendships, and generally just being an asshole – wasn’t solving anything either. So a third personality emerged, a sort of apathetic answer to my base hatred. Like, yeah, the world is terrible – so what? I don’t care. Just let me go about my business, mkay.
That’s about where you met me. Like the theme song says, “No one but me can save myself but it’s too late / I can’t think, think why I should even try.” I see no purpose in rescuing the child inside of me that was lost, and my apathetic answer to hatred proved to be equally destructive, and less enjoyable to boot. It is no longer an active, seething hatred, but something different. A kind of acknowledgment that humanity is flawed, over-arrogant… The kind of attitude that leads to relativism, the idea that my life is worth no more than any other life is worth no more than any other life. That extends to everything – your viewpoint is no less convincing than my viewpoint than any other viewpoint. There is justification for anything in this world. And right and wrong are moral judgments, and morals are a strictly human construct – there is no physical law that correlates to “good” and “evil” in the universe, or to “right” and “wrong.” “Right” is what an organism must do to survive, and “wrong” are actions that doom that organism to death.
And with these kinds of attitudes, I can join the military with no qualms. Send me to Iraq, give me a gun, tell me to shoot whoever, it doesn’t matter. I don’t care.
More song lyrics for you: “You don’t understand me and you probably never will (probably never will) / Got a tendency to self-destruct, and a soft spot for the filth / A hair trigger temperament / A switchblade for a tongue / I’m a walking one man genocide / With a black belt in corrupt / Everything I touch turns to ashes”
What do I want out of life? The same thing most people want. Love, a family, kids. To satisfactorily complete my life’s work (in this case, my novel). Simple things, honest things – things always inexplicably outside my reach. So in the meantime, I squander time.
The stubbornness of people – the insistence that their view is the one and only correct view, coupled with the unwillingness to admit when one is wrong – is what primarily disgusts me.
I realize there are huge logical flaws in my conceptions of the world and the conclusions I’ve reached. Gaps exist because I fail to let anyone fully enter in my head space. And ultimately, I just need time to heal. One might compare this to a renovation – you must DESTROY the old before you can build the new, and thus my self-destructive tendencies. 
The Fei analogy does not hold to how I actually view myself, but it was something I had thought of that was interesting (and it was a reference to something I’d wager you’ll never experience for yourself) and as such I threw it in there. Because why not? And how’s this:
[01:00 AM] John: I think I will probably live the entirety of my life alone. Every experience I have seems to lend credence to that notion.
[01:02 AM] John: Maybe related to a bit of philosophy I attached to from the better part of the Ender’s Game series (i.e., the part most people hated)
[01:02 AM] John: True understanding between people is impossible. 
[01:02 AM] John: Too many barriers. Language itself is a barrier.
[01:03 AM] Soltis: You have to already understand them.
[01:03 AM] Soltis: If you don’t, language won’t help you to.
[01:03 AM] John: I think “understanding” is a hoax.
[01:03 AM] John: An illusion.
[01:04 AM] John: As relates to other people.
[01:04 AM] Soltis: Not always.
[01:04 AM] Soltis: But mostly, yes.
[01:04 AM] John: You might be able to predict them, or have some empathy for their situations, and be pretty damn accurate.
[01:04 AM] John: But to completely understand someone? I don’t think so.
[01:04 AM] Soltis: You wouldn’t be able to, yourself, at the moment.
[01:06 AM] John: Say I did something completely shocking. Something which you never thought I’d do.
[01:06 AM] John: Died in the process of doing it. You might guess at why I did it, and (knowing you) may even be convinced you would know my motivations. But how could you be assured of your understanding?
[01:07 AM] Soltis: That would depend on the deed, really, but you’re so conflicted, right now, and shut off, that I don’t pretend to understand you.
[01:08 AM] Soltis: I have a working understanding *with* you, that is, we have some agreement of philosophical convention.
[01:08 AM] Soltis: But do I really understand *you*? Hell no.
[01:08 AM] Soltis: My understanding is limited to precisely what you described — prediction, familiarity, and sympathy.
[01:08 AM] Soltis: Not much more.
[01:08 AM] Soltis: You don’t let anyone in your head.
[01:09 AM] Soltis: I don’t blame you, but it makes understanding you impossible.
[The bulk of her response:]
“I’m going to have to think about this awhile before I respond. I feel like you, in trying to separate us, are almost trying to manipulate your own feelings, and be mad at me.”
[Me:]
I am not trying to separate us. It is all very complicated. And I am not mad at you. To be more accurate and honest, it would be truthful to say that you have disappointed me in the past, and because of that disappointment I am wary to give you trust again. However, realize that I trust no one, and do not take my distance from you personally, and we should be just gravy.
[It takes her some time to muster a response.]