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The kindness of strangers

black and white, grainy photorealistic image, one person handing a tangle of worms to another person

I don’t know if you know this, but I come here to, like, work my shit out. And it’s becoming increasingly apparent that the other methods I employ probably aren’t as good as this one. For some reason, writing myself clean with a dose of radical-though-likely-subconsciously-biased honesty, in front of downwards of a hundred strangers on the internet, plus a few people who know me, plus occasionally some people who want to date me, is the most effective way of detangling the dysfunction in my brain.

Of that ragtag audience, my favourites are the strangers, mainly because I can allow myself to believe that they are here because of something inherently interesting in what I am writing, rather than simply morbid curiosity or some sense of affection for the person I am outside of the confines of this space.

I don’t mind at all the other people being here; I don’t feel constricted by their presence (though I can imagine a reality in which that became true), it’s just that they play into my belief that there is nothing inherently worthy in what I have created here – they are here because of their interest in me, and probably their interest in me is what dictates how much of this disjointed monologue they’re willing to endure. The people who know me do have a habit of occasionally countering this by telling me they think it’s good, but of course they’re being more generous than genuine, right? And the people who want to date me, well, that’s a tangle of worms, isn’t it? Should I be flattered or offput or suspicious or grateful? Who the fuck knows?

Truth is, this place is part of me. People who come here have the opportunity of knowing me better, in some ways, than the people who know me out there. And I am grateful for anyone who takes the time to do so. But the meaning I take from their willingness to read my words is about them, rather than about me. I see it as a kindness. And maybe that’s best.

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