Friday, July 28, 2006

The last straw

Remember the guy from Georgia who I met online? With whom I had an intense negative connection? When I last wrote about him, I hadn't completely cut him off. I figured it would come to an end eventually. I took him off my buddy list and thought that would be the end of it. Oh, how wrong I was.

If I was logged on in the morning, he buzzed me. At night? You guessed it. Our conversations devolved. He still asked many questions, but I didn't answer them. He asked why I didn't like him. I didn't want to tell him. He pressed and pressed, I told…a little. And yet, he kept contacting me. He said, "Why do you still talk to me if you don't like me?" I said, "I don't know. It's a puzzle."

Sometimes I answered his IMs, but kept the chat short. Other times, I didn't accept the messages. If I got home and it was late, I was worn out from work or rowing, I wouldn't feel like engaging with him. The other day, I was relaxed and well rested. When his message arrived that evening, I decided to respond. What follows is a transcript of the conversation. The only editing I did was to combine some of the multiple line messages. (The screename "idamuck" is an invention of mine.)

idamuck: Good Evening

jamy: heya.

idamuck: how was your day? I did paperwork today. any new ideas or dreams or thoughts?

jamy: it was a fine day.

idamuck: I am glad. If I won the lottery, would you go to Las Vegas with me?

jamy: nope.

idamuck: in that case, I will NEVER buy a lottery ticket

jamy: wise decision.

idamuck: you really don't like me, do you

jamy: i'm tired of talking about it.

idamuck: I do realize that you realize that I have absolutely no respect for you intellectually.

jamy: you have no respect for me intellectually? then why do you want to talk to me?

idamuck: do you really want to know? there is a reason

jamy: yes, i would like to know.

idamuck: Why?

jamy: i am curious. but you don't need to tell me anything, if you don't want.

idamuck: the truth is you are a type of neurotic woman I have not conversed with since I lived in Boston. I used to meet women like you in Manhattan and in Cambridge. It was always a funny experience because there was a nice, decent person in there but some how, too buried to come out. they are usually smart. but not in the 3rd STD. they have strong political opinions, but very little flexibility

jamy: dude, i am resistant to YOU, not the world.

idamuck: they play insensitive, but really, they get angry or cry at something and it is a surprise when they do. the reason you are resistant to me is because I have absolutely no respect for you intelelctually, but the way you are presenting is about more than your resistance to me. you have hinted atthings. that suggest that your best friend when you are 60 will be a cat. perhaps two or three of them

jamy: you really take the cake

idamuck: LOL
idamuck: you are proving what I am saying

jamy: how is that? i'm laughing!

idamuck: well, it is easy to laugh at someone who is distant

jamy: well, it is easy for you to judge as well.

idamuck: lol
idamuck: Whoa! it is not about judging
idamuck: you miss the point. You are pathetic

jamy: now you are resorting to name calling?
jamy: ok, i'm going to say goodbye now, permanently.
jamy: any last words?

idamuck: yes
idamuck: you really are an evil person.
idamuck: your hatred for honesty and compassion are so close to the surface.
idamuck: oh yeah, and your stories.... They are like admissions of your own stupidity. I mean, they are confessions of your social and interpersonal ineptitude. THAT is the reason most guys stare at you like you are nuts.
idamuck: bye now pudding.

When he attacked me, I started breathing harder. My heart was pounding. I've rarely been at the receiving end of such vitriol. But I wasn't angry. I'm not saying it didn't hurt my feelings at all, but I couldn't take it seriously. In a move reminiscent of my crazy friend Stella, he took things I'd said and turned them against me. Particularly harsh was the slam regarding my stories. Early in our chats, I'd told him some long stories. Before launching into one, I checked to make sure I wasn't boring him. He said, "Your stories are fascinating." He also said, "Why do you think your stories are boring?"

I don't think my stories are boring. I get a kick out of telling them and if I have a receptive audience I can entertain myself (and them) for hours. However, just because I like to talk does not guarantee that everyone likes to listen. I can go on and on; I can repeat myself. I am not always and without exception fascinating. Is this false modesty? No. Does it reflect some insecurity? Sure. But it also reflects my experience that sometimes people are not in the mood to listen to a long story. My friends (and readers) enjoy my stories, but I need to give them room to tell their own stories. I can dominate a conversation with a less talkative partner, so I try and diffuse the situation with some self-deprecating humor. Ach, I should know better. Whenever I use the self-deprecating humor, I get accused of having low self-esteem. I'm switching to the self-aggrandizing humor from now on.

Anyway. While it would seem that I was mistaken to keep in contact with this crazy bastard, I'm kind of glad I did. My curiosity kept me in it because I was trying to figure out something—what HIS story was. In our final exchange, I got my answer. He showed his true colors. My instincts were 100% correct. I will continue to trust them, now, more than ever.

Grateful for: my gut.

Drop me a line.

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