I’m not particularly sorry about it, but I can’t say I’m going out of my way to be different either. I just am.
You say, “What are you doing this weekend?”
And I say, “Oh, my second singing lesson is this Saturday!”
And you look at me like I’ve grown a third ear. You say, “You crack me up; first swimming lessons, and now singing lesson!”
And I look at you like you’ve grown a third ear. “That’s kind of the point. To always be doing something that I’ve ‘always wanted’ to do.”
You say, “I shop.”
And I am the strange one, and you are the normal one. And I am not sorry, but I am alone.
You order Bailey’s on the rocks. I just ask for some water. You don’t ask me why I don’t get something stronger. In fact–you and you both–you tease me that the only thing I’m safe with is water. No caffeine. Absolutely no sugar.
“Man,” I say, “You just get a little tiny bit too hyper one time too many, and no one lets you live it down!”
“One too many times?,” You say. “I went to school with you!”
“Okay, hyper on one test too many,” I amend. You look at me flatly.
“For two years I went to school with you,” You say.
“Okay,” I amend again. “A little too hyper a lot of times. Especially when we stayed late to study and there was nothing to eat but rice crispy treats.”
You look at me again.
“Hey,” I say, “It’s a good thing! I’m easily made happy!”
You two agree that I am a standard of happiness, and you have no sarcasm at all when you say it. That wasn’t what I meant, exactly. I’m not sure how I’ve got the reputation of being such an always happy person. But I’m not like you. I don’t understand the need to have liquid cheer in order to “have a good time.” Mostly I just need a really good night’s sleep. But going to bed at 8:30 on a Friday night is boring, and drinking yourself silly is “having a good time.” So I don’t know how to have a good time with you.
You run your hand through your grey hair, and you consider.
“You would make some man a good wife,” you say. I think you think you are complementing me. But I consider you back. I’m not going to make any kind of wife until I find a good man. Maybe you’re ego tells you something different, but there’s not a lot of them around. Plus also, to your disappointment, I don’t drink whiskey or pack heat. I just know how to give you a hard time back when you give me a hard time.
But I’m not like you. And that’s okay. But I am alone.
I am me. Sometimes people appreciate the oddity that is me. But it is very hard to go beyond “friendly” to “friends”. Because without every even trying a smidge, I’m very different from you, and you are very different from me. So we look at each other like we have three ears, and we mostly go our own ways. But let’s still smile when we pass, because that’s a pleasantry, isn’t it?