Friday, March 25, 2022

Microstory 1850: Antistimulism

I’ve taken up all sorts of hobbies, sports, and activities. I know how to sew, and how to change the oil in my car. I can recite pi to the first hundred digits, and I can’t tell you how many foot races I’ve run. This may make it sound like I like to learn new things, but nothing could be further from the truth. My parents made me do all this stuff, and it’s probably not for the reason you assume. They didn’t actually care whether I enjoyed any particular endeavor, and it had nothing to do with what they would do in my shoes. They weren’t trying to live vicariously through me. They just wanted me to have something, and they hated the idea that I would go through life with no interests whatsoever. I know they had good reasons to do what they did, but it just wasn’t me. I don’t have to be occupied with anything at all, in fact. I’m perfectly content sitting in a chair, staring at the wall for hours until it’s time to go to bed. I don’t think there’s a word for my condition. Therapists and psychiatrists have just called me depressed. Not true. I just don’t feel the need to spend my time doing things. I can’t explain it. Still, like I said, I’ve tried a whole bunch of stuff because I was told I had to. It wasn’t until I was eighteen that I started to realize that they were wrong, but also that they were sort of right. I need to eat, and stay out of the elements. I don’t need much, and it doesn’t have to be fancy, but I still have an instinct for survival, and in this world, if you don’t have a way to make money, you don’t survive. So I used the skills I picked up on the speech and debate team to get a job in data entry. It wasn’t glamorous, but it was a living.

I’m not saying that everyone who does the work that I once did is a drone, but it certainly played to my strengths, and it was the best that I could come up with. I didn’t have to think too hard, or interact with people too much. My boss and co-workers were mostly happy to leave me alone as long as I met my quotas. I wish I had been born later, because then I would have worked from home, and been even more isolated and content. One day, this new guy joined the team, and was reportedly immediately smitten with me. According to others, I’m quite attractive, or rather I would be if I put a little effort into it. My inability to give a crap evidently turned most people off, but he could see past it. He wanted to know more about me, and he seemed to find it quite frustrating that I wasn’t giving him anything. I responded with the shortest sentences possible if necessary to get him off my back, and with nothing if I thought I could get away with it. This may sound like a love story, but it’s not. The guy was just the way I ended up with my new life. He told his own therapist about me, and that dude was crazy fascinated by my condition. Like I said, I had spoken to others about my feelings—or lack thereof—but he was the first one who appeared to be all in on truly believing me. He wanted to study me, and since he promised to not be too invasive, I let him. All he asked me to do was answer his questions, and he would trust their accuracy with no doubt. He published his findings anonymously, and piqued the interests of even more people. One in particular was a wealthy woman who said she had experienced irritating people who felt entitled to answers from her. She reached out, and I agreed to let the researcher provide her with my contact information. Wanting to free me from all the disturbances and distractions, she set me up with a cabin in the woods, and a lifetime supply of food and other necessities. I die today having lived an unfull, but very satisfying, unstimulated life.

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