A relationship is something I haven’t been able to quite relate to for some time now and to be honest, it does bug me a teeny-weeny bit. I see people around me falling in love, dating, hanging out, even getting married. It’s not the not being able to do all the aforementioned that bothers me. It’s the relentless pushing from all directions from man and thing to fall in suit, fall in line with the ultimate plan. It’s New Year’s Eve and there’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that I’m walking into 2017 with a mind broader than it was till last night. I’m also sure I’ll be a different person twelve months from now.
However, there’s this perfectly healthy, pristine relationship that I’ve had since I was a little boy just learning to spell out words. Reading. Books. My relationship with books has been a constant, a pillar of support to my growth and I’m at a loss of words to describe how much the habit of reading means to me. Reading a book makes me consolidate in my mind the fact that this world’s just not good enough for a person like me. I’m as human as human gets, but I’ve always felt like an alien, given the kind of Utopian ideals that I’m exposed to through books. There’s a whole bunch of people out there like me, going through an existential crisis, wishing they were just characters of a work of fiction rather than a mechanized nine to five specialized robot. I met this friend just before Christmas Eve and he was like “Dude, who’re you taking to the New Year’s party?” I looked up for a split second, breaking my concentration from the book I was glued to and my first reaction was “What party?” He explained. “Oh, I RSVP’d no to that.” He asked me why and my answer was the same thing I tell everyone else “I don’t need a relationship to quantify my social appearances or the debauchery, because I would rather spend my time with a book than with a human person.” Yes, I may have a problem. Even whilst being this accepting about me having a problem, I’m confident I’ll have a lot of time for the “important things” at a later stage in life and not when I need to be thinking about what book to read next. A million rom-coms tell me otherwise. There are these beautifully written love stories that are made into movies every year, and for a person like me, watching rom-coms is like getting struck in the brain with a hammer. I simply don’t get it. You’re great friends, you’re helping each other with your relationships and they’re finally happy and you suddenly have feelings for your friend and she does too but she can’t tell you because she’s already in a relationship that you helped fix and it’s all horrible until the person she’s in a relationship with realizes the fact that she’s in love with the person that helped fix their relationship and intentionally screws something up so she can be with the man she was meant to be with. I mean, give me a break. I have a rather healthy and stable relationship with my own habits than you have with a million people you find on tinder and Facebook.
There’s one other thing that I get from this particular friend of mine every year around New Year’s. Now this person has been in a relationship since Gandhi said “Screw you, Great Britain. I’m breaking up with you.” She’s a couple of years older than I am, and she’s had this high school sweetheart kind of thing going on with this really sweet guy. Every year, she comes up to me and asks me if I’ve found the one or something. The answer’s the same every year – not interested. I guess she wanted to mix things up this year. She came up to me and said “I know how hard it is for you to feel like people accept you, treat you like a normal person. To be honest, most people don’t get you. I know you don’t care even a little bit, but please try to understand that at some point in time, you’re going to have to force yourself to fit in. Don’t do that to yourself.” I kept listening, knowing where the conversation was headed. She continued “You keep telling yourself that there’s something much better written for you in your tiny, fiction filled brain. I know you’ll do great, but please open up your mind to the frailties of society. Be more accepting of society than it is, of you. You can keep believing in all your mumbo jumbo, but eventually you’re going to feel completely lonely on the inside.” I’d had enough. “Oh, please. Stop quoting Nyx from Sense8” and I begin laughing. She’d been made. “You’re obsessed with books and TV shows, get a girlfriend. Get a life!” If a person with that much authority over my personal life can’t break me, a hundred trillion rom-coms most definitely can’t. There’s just one big discrepancy with my theory though. The same story in a paperback book looks so appealing to me that it makes me want to live the life of the characters in the book, makes me yearn for the perfect Hazel Grace to my Augustus Waters and all that but meh, what’s a theory without loopholes?
As long as there are amazing books, beautiful TV series, friends (F.R.I.E.N.D.S) and delicious food in the world, could I BE any blunter in asking you to not ask me of New Year’s and relationships?