Thursday, December 31, 2009

On Friendship

I wish I had friends. I see all these people who are part of a real group of people to which they belong. I see people loving others and sharing with others knowing they'll be understood. I wish I had that. It costs me to say it because it sounds like I can't be on my own and need other people to be dependent on to live. I thought that in coming to Oxford I would have more of a chance to finally have this life, to stop feeling so alone even in a room full of people. First of all, I'm in an English-speaking country. You've probably noticed everything I'm interested in is in English - I can't help it. I wish it could be different, it'd be easier if I found things in French to be infinitely more interesting than things in English, but I don't. It's a coincidence and I wish it were different and easier but I can't help it. It's not my fault that most, almost all, of my favourite things happen to be in English. At "home" (but isn't home where the heart is?) nobody understands what drives me, what makes me feel alive. It's different here, even if I didn't meet anybody I'd consider a friend, everything is eerily familiar, because the culture is more mine than "home" is. I wish I could never leave this place.
So why can't my hopes come true? I had great expectations when coming here, as I said, and yet today I'm as lonely as ever and don't know whom to call to complain about homophobic people in my neighbourhood and dream of a world where pansexuality would be the norm.
Am I cynical? Maybe. I don't know exactly. Most of the people I meet seem to be content with very simple things which I personally find simplistic and therefore dangerous. Perhaps I over-analyze, perhaps I ask too much and give too little.
I am hugely interested in fandom but don't feel like I belong there either. A lot of the people I meet are huge Disney fans - I can't stand Disney. It's moralistic in the worst way, racist (Aladdin, Pocahontas, The Aristocats) conservative (mariage is still everybody's goal), misogynist (do I need to give you examples? Seriously?) and full of saccharine (boy meets girl, happily ever after, birds sing and dress women up for crying out loud). I don't like musicals - people seem to love them, it makes them happy. I find them cheesy and forced. I don't celebrate Christmas, I'm an agnostic becoming more and more of an atheist with every passing day and I don't understand how even irreligious people can think it's okay to have a special day of the year to show others you love them. I'd say "I love you" every day if I had anybody I felt that towards, not just one day a year. I don't like animés - the girls are weak or used for their sexual availability, the humour is not mine, the interesting themes not developed enough for me. I'm not sentimental. I don't see life as a constant search for the perfect couple. What would interest me, at best, would be friendships because people have things in common, not love stories although I'd argue that friendship is love. Babies do nothing to me, it's not because people or things are small that they are pretty. Innocence does nothing to me, people call innocence what should be called ignorance. I don't believe in essentialism, I've already said it here but conversations that start with "men are" and "women are" make me want to break something. Men are not, and women are not. Pre-constructed ideas of what women should be and men should be according to an arbitrary model are not a way to keep me interested. Same goes for "the (insert favourite nationality here) are". Determinism can be, and thank humanity for that, conterbalanced by free will. We all have a brain, use it. I can't be bothered with people who haven't even reached that stage of understanding.
Perhaps it makes me a cynic indeed, but I'd like to thing of myself as a realist. I don't sugar-coat and can't stand cowards who do.
I'm interested in philosophy, in questioning the "why" behind everything and finding foolproof concepts to live by (why no death penalty? "it's not human" is not foolproof, if you were serious about having a strong point of view you'd see that and try to find something else. Personally, I say that mistakes are human and if a judge sentences a person to death and after the death further evidence makes it clear that the person was innocent, there's no way to repair anything, whereas if the person is still alive, things can be done. Right now that's the point I've reached, I'd like to find even stronger arguments when DNA tests make it clear the accused is the culprit). I stick to them. At the same time, I'm desperately interested in fiction, in how ideas that I have or should have can work in stories that to me could be real. It gives me hope. My favourite works of fiction depict my utopia. Always.

So there you have it. I know some people think I'm cold because I question "the child in them", whatever that means. It just leaves me frustrated and heartbroken to see people my age or even older haven't bothered to do what I did, which is to move on and look for truth. But it's nothing compared to shallow people who love the same works I do but because the physical appearance of this actor gives them a model to project their fantasies on (fantasies that include Mills and Boon-like scenes, mariage and children). On the other hand you can't deny I'm extremely passionate about some things. More than anything I wish to find in friendship is understanding, I can't explain what seem to be the most basic things to me to my friends, they have to come with this baggage already. But they also have to be passionate about worthy works of fiction which gives them a way to look at life in the face. Is it too much to ask for humanists who are free and open and would dance with me to Glenn Miller, go take Charleston classes and regroup to swap excellent books we read and for marathons of Gilmore Girls which we would watch for Lorelai, Rory, Paris and Emily? Apparently it is. I've been looking for them for 21 years and I'm still looking.

I have no idea why I'm posting something so personal here. I should buy a diary. I'm glad to have the comments turned off in moments like these as I'm definitely not looking for any.