Saturday, March 19, 2016

My Reputation Always Precedes Me

Recently, I was talking to an old friend and he reminded me of why I’ve always had a problem making new friends. It's not just because I’m an asshole, it’s also partly because I’m a five-year-old in a thirty-three-year-old's body. That means I go around doing weird things, like leaping into the air for no reason, or breaking into a run, or walking around muttering to myself and giggling. I sing in the shower at the gym. Last week I ate a Fruit Rollup in class and believe you me, it was noticed.

My mother wouldn't buy them for me when I was a girl, so now I buy them for myself. What.

During this conversation with this friend, he confided that when we first met, “Everyone told me to stay away from you.” I took this confession with a lump of salt because, let’s be real, the “everyone” in that sentence refers to a bunch of ass-gaskets.
I was like, “When I was in the fifth grade there was a rumor going around the school that I would bite anyone who got too close to me. Nothing you’ve heard could be worse than that.” Of course, I didn't find out about this rumor until my freshman year of high school, so who knows if it was true, but I would be heartbroken if it wasn't.
 
So, I asked my old friend why “everyone” told him to stay away from me, and then I immediately regretted it because I realized it would be something really weird and insulting. All my life people have been hearing weird rumors about me and then they actually get to know me and they're like, shocked to discover that I'm a regular human being and not, for example, an escaped mental patient or a mad scientist. Several months ago I was talking to a girl I know in France and she asked me a question, I can’t remember what, and I replied, “Because I’m crazy – haven’t you heard?” and she laughed entirely too loudly and I realized that yeah, she had heard.
 
I expected my old friend to tell me he'd heard I kept a shrine in my closet covered with locks of hair taken from everyone I'd ever sat behind in class, or that I peed into Mason jars at home and kept the jars under my bed, or that if you pissed me off I'd borrow a cup of sugar from your mother and use it to put a curse on your entire family for seven generations, or that instead of eating normal food I went out on rainy nights to catch live toads and bite their heads right off. But instead of saying anything remotely bizarre, my old friend told me, “They said you were easy,” and I was taken aback. l literally told him, “OMG HA HA HA THAT’S NOT EVEN A CHARACTER FLAW!” I mean, everyone knows that’s just something a man says when he's pissed off that you slept with some other guy and not with him. But even now, when I meet someone new and they say, “I’ve heard so much about you,” I can’t help but wonder if they're worried I'm going to bite them.


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