Over the summer, I realized that I unconsciously treat people who have lost myvrespect poorly. Not many can see that I am simply indifferent towards these persons without a comparison between them and someone I despise. I say despise because I try, and mostly succeed, in not disliking someone unless they have truly earned it. But not many are used to seeing someone have these blank feelings or gestures toward them without it being for a malicious reason. For example, I tend not to start conversations with persons I am indifferent with. I’m not interested, so why would I ask for information I don’t want to know. But people, in general, don’t like silence. And so when two people (who can speak) are together and silent, they are either doing the silent treatment or are in love.
I am a silent person. In public, I talk as much as possible around friends because I force myself to. I’ve gone days to weeks without speaking at home. So when I’m silent with a person I feel indifference towards, it’s because to me I feel alone.
And I get that that hurts feelings. I was in so many fights with children I barely knew because I was more myself at school back then. I didn’t actively try until high school. And I’ve been trying ever since.
But to me, silence is so beautiful. To just hear the natural world around you can be anything from calming to terrifying. And I live in NYC so there’s always life to listen to. Whether it’s the wildlife in the Botanical guarden or the randomly, huge parks in Queens, or a couple fighting in the middle of the street at 2am.
I remember I used to make detailed stories about people I listened to. I used to try to guess body type, sex, skin color, just by the sound of their voice. When I was very very little, a transgender woman “fooled” me. My mom told me she was male but I decided then and there that what people told her she was would never matter. She was female. And I have never seen it any other way (a rare thing in my neighborhood).
Today I took a stroll and basked in the silence of East 60th st. And thought how, because I am so quiet with the people I am indifferent to, they are one of two kind of people I am, ironically, truly comfortable around. Because there is absolutely no desire to impress. My repsect was lost, and therefore whether or not they respect me is irrelevant.