le misanthrope

"I have the fault of being a little more sincere than is proper." - Moliere

i recall, once, someone very dear, shouting at me, "are you really that naive?!" concerned that i was feigning some simple observation i'd had, some idealistic attitude, some uncalled-for and unsophisticated reaction....

as my eyes widened, stung by the accusation, he realised, not without some horror, that yes, yes i was... at that age, and in spite of all the experiences that should have left me hardened, calloused, wizened... i was as willfully delicate as ever.

this weekend, i spent some time with a group of guys who, once again, rather painfully reminded me that compared to run-of-the-mill joes, i take living, too gravely. our brash treatment of each other, too sensitively. i can't help it - the acceptable norms, the glib flippancy where people seem to meet on common ground, are waters laden with sharp scissors in which i do not comfortably tread.

how is that people do it? laugh at one another - in the most tragic and cutting way? say things that they surely cannot mean? or if they do mean it, how can they actually stand it? to participate in those supposedly friendly encounters so thoroughly saturated with contempt?

i'm incapable. of digesting such maliciousness; it makes me ill. of welcoming the dispensing of acidic grime, which i'm sure i taste with greater amounts of toxicity than it is intended, since i can't separate words from their meaning. i survived the weekend, albeit with a grand and shocking finale of tears. but the fact that this was not an anomaly, that people ladle this out, with disturbing regularity - oh, i hate humanity for it.

Photo is by David Bailey.

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