Aaron Steinmetz

...be very still...the bird's angry...and I think he can see us.

Anti-Antisocial and I Hate Running

I’m not a fan of the word "antisocial." Really don’t like it. I think it’s born out of a fundamental misunderstanding of antisocial people. We’re not antisocial, not even a little bit. We actually love seeing people, hanging out with them and being ourselves. But we’re a couple degrees off from actual right-and-proper "social people."

Try to think of it this way: you jog. You love jogging.

Clearly this is fiction. No one loves jogging. It’s not physically possible to love jogging, not in this universe, not ever.

But pretend you’re from a universe where jogging actually is fun and healthy. You step outside your front door and start jogging. Two hours later, you’re exhausted, spent. You step inside your front door and leave the jogging world behind.

You don’t hate jogging. You don’t reject all the other joggers on the road. You’re not anti-jogging. You’re just tired.

That’s what it’s like for us. We crave human interaction the same way you crave a good run (for some masochistic reason) but we all tire of it eventually, and we people who tire more quickly than others mislabeled as "antisocial" are simply spent.

The little incessant voice in our heads is exhausting. That voice telling us we’re not talking enough or about the right subject and we’re not eating the right amount of food at the right rate and we’ve gone to the bathroom too many times someone surely noticed and maybe we should wash our hands a bit longer or someone might think we were in there too quickly to get a proper wash and we’re picking the food out of our teeth with our fingernails too much and we’re drinking too much: it’s chaos.

Actually that voice telling us we’re drinking too much probably is a good voice, especially if we’re driving home afterward. But the other voices can go pound sand. They’re deafening.

So we leave. Maybe we leave the party too soon. But rest assured it’s not because the party-throwers did anything to offend the party-goers. We just got a stitch in our side and need to catch our breath.

I should run more.