Yesterday my friend looked at me and said, “You know, I think you only have two emotions. And one of them is pissed off.”
I smiled at her, because it is true. It was said as a joke, but there was something underlying in our eye contact and the forced way we laughed about, like we both knew that it was true. I should be disturbed by this, being seen, but as usual there was nothing, only vague surprise.
Admittedly, I never try very hard around her. I will fake the more important things, but of the inconsequential ones I make no response, show no feelings. It’s tiring, constantly putting on a front, and in the end I know she doesn’t care. She isn’t bothered by my strangeness, only fascinated, and constantly trying to be involved with it.
I do feel some guilt; at the core of it, she is much more loyal than I was led to believe. I will, however always be wary of her; I know how quickly she can turn on those she sees as having wronged her. She’s so emotional and unpredictable at times that I am baffled. She will dislike something someone does, and on her bad days turn and snarl something terrible at a complete stranger, generally deserving of it. It amuses me, yet other times irritates me when I am not in the mood to have attention drawn to myself.
I think she’s afraid to show anything in front of me. She puts on a front that is easily seen when something upsets her. She tries to control it, miserably, but she tries. It’s as though she feels she has to impress me. I can see her considering my words when I speak, the way it slightly changes her own answer. I’ve purposely had my boyfriend ask her questions that I have asked, and she always gives me a slightly modified answer. Not necessarily a lie, but a version that makes her seem more…intimidating. I warm up better to strong people, something I have never hidden, and I think in a way, she wants to be one of those people in my eyes. I’m not sure what to make of that.
She holds a special kind of hero worship for our friendship and toward me. I used to get annoyed with her constant boasting of me, but I realized awhile ago that she not only does it in front of me, but when we are apart. I guess I had always assumed it was a lie. But I will meet people and they instantly think they know me because she has told them something about me, something that this new person thinks is admirable. It’s strange, being thought of in that way. At times I wonder if she realizes just how detached I truly am.
I should feel guilty. I was very unnerved by how she acted in that crash. Wringing her hands, frantically calling, constantly looking back to make sure I was still awake, as though it somehow mattered.
Why do you care? I want to ask. What about me inspires you to do so?
Don’t you know what I am?