Sunday, 3 September 2017

The Loner Thing.

There are times when I want to declare some of the stranger things about me on this blog, but I hesitate because I know there might be repercussions. People are wont to misunderstand the stranger aspects of a strange person. They pass what you say through the filter of limited personal experience and come up with all sorts of misguided notions, and then they judge you. And, as I’m frequently led to point out, you never know who might pick up your blog one day and read it.

But does it matter whether I’m judged or not? I don’t suppose it does, really, not unless the person doing the judging happens to be somebody whose opinion of me matters, and there are very few of those. Besides, I don’t even know for certain whether anybody ever reads this blog. Nobody ever leaves comments to establish the fact. Several stats trackers tell me that it’s visited on a daily basis, but I’ve long since stopped trusting stats trackers. So why don’t I try one and see whether it hurts? OK, here’s goes:

I have a curiously vehement aversion to the term ‘you two.’

My mother would occasionally use it if I was talking to my brother about something. ‘I’ll leave you two to work it out,’ she would say as she walked off to make a pot of tea. My reaction was not dissimilar to having a noxious chemical poured down my throat. I felt more than insulted; I felt violated.

What is this ‘you two’? I wanted to ask her in a tone of extreme indignation. There is no ‘us two.’ There is him and there is me. Why do you insult me by forcing my hand into the hand of another? By what right do you presume to connect me intimately with another person by employing the unifying phrase ‘you two’? I don’t do connections, mother. I cannot be part of any union. It isn’t who I am.

I never did say that, of course, because she wouldn’t have understood. I merely writhed and grimaced inside. And it isn’t entirely true either. There have been, and still are, a tiny number of very special people with whom I have felt a connection. But the last bit is true. I cannot and never will be part of any union. It’s why I was never married even though I went through a ceremony. It’s why I came back from a minor surgical procedure on a cold November night with the anaesthetic wearing off and there was nobody to make me a cup of tea or warm the house. It’s the loner thing, and I expect it to remain so for whatever length of life I have left. I’ve undergone many changes during my life – some of them profound and far reaching – but the loner thing had the first stirrings of its genesis in early childhood and has grown stronger as the years have passed.

And that, it seems reasonable to assume, is why I feel so uncomfortable with the phrase ‘you two.’ Sometimes I wish it were different because very occasionally I feel the chill sting of loneliness. But it doesn’t happen often enough to be a problem. And at times I get frustrated when some of the tiny number of perceived connections go apparently unreciprocated, but I’ve learned to accept the objects of that perception for who they are.

So there; that didn’t hurt a bit, did it? And I don’t suppose it was very interesting either. Sorry to anybody who might happen to visit.

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