Ahh, the many flavors of life.

After not being able to find a job (because I have no hope of qualifying for work-study) for the last two weeks, I’ve finally been dragged – unwillingly – by my father to go to work with him. But now that I’ve had a full day of work under my belt, it really doesn’t feel as bad as before – maybe a year ago – hopefully because I’ve improved on my rather dark and unforgiving weakness…

Which brings me back full circle to the tale that I was going to share a long time ago. See, I have a serious problem about meeting strangers. Beyond nervousness, I can end up being completely frozen, not being able to speak, as if I’m about to throw up or have a panic attack. It hasn’t shown up in quite a long time probably because I frankly haven’t been forced to spend time with strangers for the better part of these past few years. It’s noteworthy to mention that this weakness had rendered me impossible to find new friends on my own effort – a reason to back up my claim that I had NO friends in Junior High (and only one or two trusted friends in High School).

So during the crazy summer of 2001, two weeks before I went to Baltimore for Otakon for closure on one group of friends, I went to Seattle for closure with another group of friends that I met on the internet (together they officially ended my involvement in this former artist community). Appropriately, I had another friend whom I met on the internet (who lived much closer to my house) to go with me on this trip, and he literally saved my ass in more than one way: I booked the hotel, but he helped me check in; when I’m lost, he asked for directions. I, with all the knowledge about Seattle in my hand, wouldn’t be able to ask anyone for directions if my life depends on it.

Anyway, we went there to meet two people (both of them girls, for your information), one of which I met up with my travelling partner, and the other I went solo on. It’s the second trip that made me conviced I have problems – and one that creeps up at the most inappropriate moments in life.

First of all, this girl is Catholic. Being the perky Christian that I was (back then), I was already scared of her ideas of God and faith, which she isn’t afraid to blabber on about; second, she’s with company. Lots of company. All of them Catholic. It’s really the second part that completely did me in. See, when I’m completely alone with a stranger, cicumstances usually force me to at least chuck out a greeting or some nonsensical talk about “where do you go to school/work” or “what have you been doing”, but when everyone else seems preoccupied, I sink back and simply do not know what I can do to become involved in the discussion. Obviously, she was clueless about my problems, so the entire trip that I took that day basically involved me sitting in the back of the car, silent and looking out the window, while the rest of the group chatted to no end about whatever topic that they wanted to talk about.

I was scared shitless that night. I shivered, I woke up the next day with a bad headache and I realized I forgot to pay the tap that I promised the night before (that was decided long before we actually met up). Needless to say, that ended a friendship before it started.

So at least now you know why I’d like to sit in dark corners alone when everyone else seems to be talking about something important. The more you know.

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