~ two people talking
“I’ve alienated myself,” the man remarked suddenly, shrugging.
The response was a fast breath through her nose, a scoff.
“What is that supposed to mean?” she returned soon after. She looked over, squinting a steely gaze that indicated something but he couldn’t be sure what. He didn’t have enough of it to be paying attention at the moment.
He looked over to her, sighing. He blinked away, facing forward once more. He hesitated before speaking again. He knew it would only be truth releasing from here on out, so he had to take care.
“Well, you don’t know me.”
“No, I don’t.”
“I wasn’t always this way,” he said. “The solitude, the misanthropy, the reserved patience for a time coming that even I don’t believe in.”
He stared at nothing in particular, his mouth open but not immediately speaking his next sentence into existence.
“I had different sorts of visions for what my life would be.”
“What are you? A hermit, a sage or something? What are you even saying…”
Now it was his turn to chuckle. But he stopped sooner than he wanted, realizing the observation had hit closer to home than he had expected.
He mused, what is the actual definition of a ‘hermit’?
She spoke up again, looking at him after taking another sip. “Look, everyone has different visions. I’ve got visions, sure. To me, you’re just another lone guy in bar. You’re hardly alone.”
The man glanced at her skeptically. “Well, yeah… not tech — “
“No, I mean in the sense that there are guys just like you, in bars just like this, all over the map, all the time. Girls too. Some are probably there right now,” she explained this fact carelessly, as if she wanted to move on to the next topic already. But he sensed that she meant what she said and perhaps did not wish to.
“I mean that you are not alone — in time, in the universe.”
He sighed again. “Now it’s my turn — what are you talking about?”
She smiled, taking another drink and cocking her head for a response.
But he smirked and continued, “There’s a couple of problems there, some dissimilarities. And I think alienation is the issue, not the aloneness. I used that word for a reason. That’s an important distinction to make…”
The man trailed off, losing track of the train of thought. He dipped his head down toward the bar to recover it, swirled his drink, continued to speak.
“Regardless… the fact that there are others out there like me, is that supposed to make me feel better? What are you getting at?”
“Feel however you want,” she responded. “The point is that you aren’t alone, and your position — your misanthropy or visions or alienation, you hermit-dom is not a unique experience. You are not in a uniquely terrifying sitch. Whether this makes you feel better or worse is your prerogative. But for what it’s worth, I’ve always found solidarity in such things.”
She paused, herself facing forward, before continuing, “I’ve always thought of that feeling as a curse.” She spoke in a low tone.
“What feeling?” he couldn’t help but ask, beyond interested.
She returned his stare with intensity.
“The feeling that you’re special. That the feelings you are feeling are unique to your own singular perspective. The feeling that no one has felt specifically the way you have felt because of your own singular circumstances. It’s a trap,” she spoke with resolve. “It’s a curse.”
It’s a lie, they thought in unison.
He nodded. They each returned to their drinks.
Neither said anything for a while.
“Well, there is something rather unique about my particular position,” the man spoke after this while.
“And what’s that?” the woman said skeptically.
“No one else is speaking to you.”
She smirked. ~