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Pushing More Type

August 2, 2012

Okay, pushing pages now…no word from the agent but I’m not sure it’s time to start thinking about query letters to some other ones.  I don’t want to get into that hope/dismay cycle again of waiting on people, especially if it distracts me or depresses me when the book is moving again.

EIGHT

When I finished, Alice sat there quietly. She’d look abstracted, like she was processing it all, then she’d look at me to see if her bullshit detector would go off this time – when it didn’t she’d look away again. Finally, she laughed.

“It’s like a fairy tale. Here you are at this Alex-related thing, all hidden in your robe and cowl, then Bam! You are revealed – the secret Queen of the Alex Fanboys.”

I laughed. “I don’t know about that. Being worshipped might be a nice change of pace, though.”

She gave me that piercing look. “You don’t get out much, do you?”

“Is it so obvious?”

“Hey – I’m one of your kind.”

“No offense, but no, not really. You chatted me up, invited me to coffee, then again to real coffee. That’s like total normal person shit.”

“That’s my system.”

“Meaning?”

“That’s how I overcome my social retardation. Instead of thinking about how everyone hates me and will all reject me, I just stick to the script. The script says, make conversation, make the first move, don’t think, pretend you’re normal. Do what a normal would do. Then if it doesn’t work out, don’t take it personally, think of it as something that came off the assembly line broken, pluck it off and throw it out and move on.”

“So the way to get around a terror of human contact is to take a completely mechanical approach.”

“Exactly.”

“A bit autistic, but brilliant. How’s it working?”

She shrugged. “So so, like anything else. I think it shows, you know?”

“Like people can tell you’re not really invested in them?”

“Some people, yeah. I used to think it was all about me, that everything I hated about myself was totally obvious to everyone instantly. But the reality is that most people aren’t even really looking at you – they’re just glad to have someone pay attention to them. People like people who pay attention to them. Make it all about them and they’re as accepting as you could ask.”

“Is it worth it? I mean, how many friends do you make that way?”

“Well, not many. But ask yourself this. Of all the people you could meet, or befriend, or just acquaintance-ize, how many do you really like?”

“Hmmm.”

“Right. You think, I need friends, but then most people get on your nerves, right? They want to use you, or they have some crazy religious or political or health thing, or they are too fucking busy to really be a friend, given their six million other friends. That’s why Alex is so fucking awesome, right? He’s always there for you, always attentive, never tries to get you to try a juice fast.”

“But he is like the friend who starts selling Amway.”

She nodded. “Yeah, that’s a problem. The difference between a real friend and a business opportunity.”

“I went to school with this girl, I thought we hit it off? And then on our second coffee date she says, ‘I’m loving this school, I’m making all the right friends, meeting all the right people.’ And I realized, all she gives a shit about are career connections – already! In fucking high school!”

“You were just the radish on her well-rounded salad.”

“Sometimes I think the people with the most ‘friends’ are the biggest sociopaths of all.”

“That’s extreme.”

“Think about it. Haven’t you always been the person with one good friend?”

“Yep.”

“And that was, or is, a really good friend. Someone you’ve spent a lot of time with, had a lot of really deep conversations with, someone who really knows you because the two of you have invested in it.”

“The funny ones are the ones with six million friends, and with every one of them, it’s like OH HI! and a big hug and kiss and then you don’t see them or talk to them for a year and then OH HI! again.”

“Whereas with your real friends, it’s like, ‘s’up?’”

“See? I am one of your kind.”

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