Compassion

I have often wondered if there’s something wrong with me. I suppose this is a dilemma any lonely teenager or human being contemplates at some point in their life.

I recently characterised myself as ‘heartless’ to someone – it was a joke at first, but then I was asked to explain it. Even after I’d explained it, it felt like I was just using words. Writers are good at that, I guess. I think some of us actually feel what we write as we write it and then forget about it, until the emotion is needed again.

After laying in bed restless for a while, I closed my eyes. As I rarely fall asleep instantly, I just lay there wondering to myself, eyes closed.

It’s going to be a long night.

What is it I admire about other people? I’m an inconsiderate bastard most of the time, but I am aware of being inconsiderate, so what’s going on there?

Within seconds, I worked out that other people’s compassion towards my situation and that of others is what impresses me the most. Just a few hours ago, I’d spoken to someone who was far more compassionate than I; he picked up the phone to ask how I was doing. At the time, I explained I was doing fine, and nothing was really bothering me. I was putting off worrying about tomorrow’s proceedings until tomorrow.

I don’t have that. Well, I do have the ability to worry about people, I guess. Just two months ago, I worried myself about one of my close friends who did not pick up her phone. Normally, this would not be particularly bizarre, seeing as her phone tended to run out of battery and switch itself off very often. However, on this day, I was being the ‘big brother’, so to speak. We were going to meet to spend some time together, because she didn’t want to be alone after having had an argument with her father. I felt honoured she had chosen me as her go-to person, but that might have been because my place was the furthest away from hers; not to say that she doesn’t enjoy my foolish company, but distance from horrible situations helps at times.

Eyes still shut.

I can do that kind of thing, I think. And yet, there’s some situations that leave me completely blank; that should ordinarily see me slip into that ‘carer’ role, but I don’t. And then there’s the times when I know that I’m being… well, to put it bluntly: when I’m being an asshole and I know it. The times when I say or do something absolutely horrifying (within the context of a conversation) and can’t actually stop myself. My inner asshole surfaces.

I have recently taken to referring to myself as a wolf, of sorts. I like wolves; I find them amazing creatures, as I tend to do with most wild animals. Panthers are fascinating too – just the way they move… so beautiful. Anyhow, wolves and panthers and other wild beings don’t tend to have compassion. At least, not that I know of. I suppose that self-image is not the best one I could have; it probably does something to somebody to consider themselves the human version of a silent, powerful predator who can kill in the blink of an eye, without regret.

wolf snarl

Of course, I’ve not done any killing, but that sense of freedom, that sense of not being shackled or hampered by emotion… no consequences. That must be an interesting life. I suppose it is a dire omen that I aspire to be as simple as a savage animal. I guess in my head, I tend to have the romanticised version of a wolf, whereby I would just need to worry about food. My ‘rational’ explanation for this is that I wouldn’t need to think about assessments, or having to jump through hoops for other people.

Still, I know there’s something not ‘right’.

I contemplated whether or not this is due to my one failed relationship that keeps poking its ugly head everywhere. But no, that’s not the reason I’m an asshole. I seem to remember some time in my teenage years – or was it before that? – that I thought being honest was a good idea. Honesty is great, most of the time; usually up until the moment you start to say exactly what is on your mind, in the exact way you thought it in your head, with no proper filter. At this point many people would wonder what the problem is; well… try telling people you don’t want to spend time with them, or that you would like them to piss off in exactly those words, and mean it. It can be hurtful.

Maybe I should just give in and be done with it. Be the asshole and don’t give a damn. If this was a face to face discussion with any one of my friends, I’m sure they’d say that I’m not an asshole and that I could never be. This is not out of a selfish, arrogant view of myself, but this is what surfaces when I’m with other people, for most of the time. Yet occasionally, the furious serpent slithers under the door and I spit out angry words. And sometimes the serpent is there all the time, waiting for the opportune moment to snap his head forward and bite, then retreat.

I am an angry individual, I suppose. Maybe I just need anger management classes. I don’t think I’d be able to bear being patronised by someone who was meant to be helping me. I get into shit by myself, I get out of shit by myself. Or well… I try. I don’t think I’ve ever made it out in one piece.

Eyes still shut, I relaxed ever so slightly.

In my head, I caught a glimpse of devilish creatures; they had masks for faces, like Aztec gods etched onto the wall, with wide gaping eyes and sharp teeth. They stepped off the wall, laughing, cackling even. rushed towards me, I jolted awake to write this.

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