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It’s always the little things people say to me. The asides.

“And people wonder why you have trust issues,” Elizabeth once said, when I never caught the slightest hint that people were wondering about me at all. And do I? Do I have trust issues?

I suppose I do.

“You don’t like people getting close to you,” Gus said to me recently when I referenced his lack of respect for personal space, but I didn’t say it in an angry manner. He wasn’t saying this to me in an angry manner, either, it was just an observation — but I thought he meant close physical proximity. Which isn’t true. I like hugs. I shake hands. I have sex, or at least I used to. It’s just that I don’t do that with just anybody, that’s all. He didn’t mean physical proximity, however, as he went on to briefly explain before one or both of us got distracted. He meant emotionally.

Which isn’t true, not entirely. I want to be close but I need to be free. And yes, I’ve learned that getting too close never ends well, and I’m cautious about the strength of the bond. Every high has its equal and opposite comedown. However good it is, you will end up feeling just as bad. However close you feel, the severance will be as painful, the distance as vast and cold.

So the question always is: is the potential for this close bond worth nurturing, or would it cause more problems than its worth?

Typically, intimacy loses the election. I keep nearly everyone at arm’s length. My close friends, family, they get bent elbows.

Its nothing personal, I just need more room to breathe than the normal person.

My people tolerance has even declined over the years, though I think this might have a lot to do with working food service. Far before the end of the day I feel like I’m in overload and feel as though I run out the door and for the hills at the end of my shift just to salvage that last little bit of my soul.

The persona smothers me. People drain me. Isolation is my natural environment.

Hanging out with people, being social voluntarily after being imprisoned by it from four to midnight plus, it kills me inside. Eats away at me. I fear losing myself in the herd, becoming whatever they think of me by confusing myself with the reflections in their eyes, or something like that. But its a physical pain, too. My muscles ache from the tension. My mind is so bored its eating itself alive or its so tense that it needs to relieve itself through the medium of ink or pastel or hunt-and-pecking.

So it’s not that I hate people, not even that I don’t want to be close to people, I’m just quickly overwhelmed by them. I’m an emotional sponge nearly always approaching maximum saturation.

This has been an issue with family, with friends. Certainly with the rare intimate relationship. Am I just fucking wired this way?

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