Just a few minutes ago, I was left alone at the table in the office pantry, eating the ice cream I ordered, but didn’t know about until somebody told me that it was time to eat, because it was only then that they realized that they didn’t copy me in any of the e-mails that talked about how the food we had delivered had already arrived.
Anyway, I was just wondering if anyone else experiences it, being left out, I mean. It has often happened to me, wherein I’m the only one left eating, but everyone else around me is already fixing up their dishes, and cleaning the table. I don’t blame them. We’re in the office after all, and so we don’t have the luxury of taking our time. We have transactions to go back to, deadlines, phone calls… Still, I find it kind of sad.
Because I eat so slowly, I get left behind. Because I have interests so different from everyone else, less people talk to me. I’m not blaming anyone for this, because it’s not anyone’s fault. It is probably mostly mine, because I’m the one who eats slowly and I’m the one who doesn’t watch TV (and so I don’t know about what TV shows they’re watching, and I don’t know the names of celebrities and who they’re going out with). I am finding it difficult to understand though, that whenever I think that I’m different, people will tell me that I’m really not. They’ll tell me that I’m just like everyone else, and that liking science fiction, and j-doramas, and Lawrence Block and Renee Olstead is nothing out of the ordinary. Yet, whenever I try to talk to them about these topics, they are not interested. And I am left with a forced smile on my face, whenever they talk about Gretchen Barretto or whoever else has a scandalous news item at the moment.
I am trying to be interested in the things that others are interested in. I read synopses of Kung Fu Panda, and asked about what Hancock is about. But you know as well as I do, we can’t all be interested in everything. And that there will always be some things that we won’t like. I don’t just not like Dreamworks animated films because they are mainstream. I don’t like them because their stories are inconsistent, the animation mediocre, and the dialogue predictable. I don’t like Star Trek because nobody else likes it. I like it because it stimulates my imagination, and sometimes my sense of morality, or my philosophy. I don’t hate R&B because the bullies in my high school listened to it. I hate it because I don’t enjoy listening to a 5-note sequence being repeated 700 times. It’s not because everyone talks about Kris Aquino and that’s why I don’t like talking about her. It’s just because I don’t think there’s anything special about her worth talking about.
It is a bit tiring to be polite all the time. Sometimes, I think it’s better to eat lunch alone, just so I won’t have to force myself to act like I’m enjoying the conversations. But I don’t really want to eat alone. I don’t want to not have any friends. I want to get along with everyone. I want to be friendly. I want people to like talking to me. But somehow, the things I like, people don’t like. The things I find funny, people don’t get. And the few people who do get them, are all so very far far away. Farther than a phone call, farther than an e-mail… Farther than the phrase “I’m sorry.”