Monday, October 5, 2009

A (not so) Cynical Look

“In conversations I more and more often catch a puzzled expression on the other person’s face, an eyebrow raised questioningly, a slight frown on the brow. I am increasingly obliged to stop and add a footnote. “I was joking. Sorry…”
There are two possible causes of these misunderstandings:
a) I have changed, alas, and I am slowly moving towards the pathetic prospect of an old age spent making boorish and foolish social gaffes;
b) I have not changed, but the world around me has, so my message increasingly misses its target, or at least so it seems to me.
Both possibilities equally threaten my relation to the world. And if that relation is not improved, my position may soon become completely isolated.”
- Dubravka Ugresic, Thank You for Not Reading, “Come Back, Cynics, All is Forgiven!” (1997)

Neither possibility frightens me. I have stared into the abyss and it has stared back and spit in my face. My relationship to the world is deteriorating. Look World, I need some alone time. It’s not you, it’s me. Isolation is not unwelcome most of the time – Mommy likes her alone time. But sometimes it gets lonely in here, mainly when my roommates are in particularly challenging manic and/or depressive states.

But what the hell. It’s only life, and mine isn’t so bad here with the L’Stranges. At least they’re not robbing liquor stores, conspiring with terrorists, kicking dogs, babbling ominously, writing screenplays, appearing in police-chase videos, or setting fire to their hair. And if some might say that is cynical, I prefer to say po-TOT-o.

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