I’ve always been shy, somewhat introverted and reclusive.  I often feel awkward and uncomfortable when I’m relating to my fellow humans.

I was always like this.  When I was younger I used to “live through the mail.”  I’d get hundreds of letters every month.  The arrival of the mailman at noon was always a highlight of my day.  And, of course, nowadays I mostly “live through the internet.”  But its funny.  I’ve always been that way. I’ve got my Facebook page where I post my latest nonsense and all these people at the other end chime in with their comments.  But that’s exactly what I used to do for years with my Twisted Image Newsletter.  It was the same basic concept as my Facebook page, except in slow motion.  I’d post my latest doings, or chime in on the issues of the day.  And my readers would yell back at me via the Letters-to-the-Editor page.   Only instead of getting 50 lightning fast comments in a 20 minute period, the discussions would wallow on for months and months via snail mail.  (And yeah, I’d regularly publish photos of my face in my newsletter, but we didn’t call them “selfies” back then, we just called them “photos of my face”)

So I’ve always had that tendency.  To relate to people more through my art and writing and media, than face-to-face relationships.  But I was much more engaged with the world back then.  I had a lot of relationships with people; I had close friends and business partners and fellow travelers and all sorts of people in my life.  I truly felt plugged into this whole network of people. And that I was part of the community.

But something started changing in me about 10 years ago.  I don’t know if its because I felt burned by so many of my past attempts to relate to my fellow humans, but I began withdrawing more and more from people.  Going out of my way to avoid human interactions if I could possibly help it.  Part of the reason, no doubt, was the 6 years I spent living on the streets, dealing with crazy street people every day.  They come at you from every direction, often laying their weird and bizarre and violent trips on you.  It became like: Any interaction was potential trouble.

Nowadays, I’ll sometimes go weeks without talking to anybody (aside from casual interactions with clerks at stores).  So I’m wondering if that’s a little nutty.  Like I’ve become completely alienated from society, and could easily turn into a total hermit.

Or maybe its just a sign of growing old.  As I get closer to death, my connection to this world seems less solid and vital  This really is a world of “castles-made-of-sand” in a way.    As I get older I start looking more towards the Next Life (whatever that is) and less at this world.


2 thoughts on “Introversion

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