A lunch trip to the new public library today. Everyone was doing something else for lunch, and so I missed the social work lunch that has become so frequent. Of course, I am spending way too much money on lunch, so I am eating nothing for breakfast and nothing for dinner most days. I haven’t completely justified the excessive spending on food and drink yet–it shouldn’t last forever. Maybe I am just lonely, and have forgotten what it’s like to have friends outside of family, and this is my one attempt throughout the week to try to rectify this.
I am sad sometimes about having walked away from seminary. I am sad that none of my former pastors ever asked me how things were going for me after I started there, and nobody has reached out to me after I left, except E did one time. That’s life I guess–people don’t really care as much about you as you might start to think–and, I’m actually okay with that. I’m used to it now. I’m used to eventually seeing the invites to events stop coming, and the workplace crew circle the wagons around each other. I’m used to having to be the one to call my dad, and I was always the one who called up my brother. I don’t know why it works that way. I suppose if I ever won the lottery, I would have a lot of people calling me. There’s one lady I used to work with who absolutely will never respond to any of my LinkedIn messages, when I am reaching out to see if she has any work for me or if I have found a job she might be interested in. Then, out of the blue, she will reach out to me at times with the presumed expectation that I stop everything I’m doing to help her when she needs help.
That’s the way we all are, I guess, and I’m probably no different, though I might like to think that I am. We only want to talk to people we really think we can get something from, and we only talk to them when we absolutely need it. The rest of the time, those people are dead to us, and besides, they would react with perplexity and suspicion if we bothered to reach out just to say ‘hello.’ I remember one boss I had a long time ago who would greet me every time I went into her office with “what do you need?” even though I made the effort just to make small talk and see how she was doing occasionally.
I wonder if hell really is other people, or if hell is just someone finally getting their wish to be left alone for eternity. Hell could be no other people or anyone or anything at all…and you just sink further and further into a cosmic quicksand, knowing you will never return to other people or be saved by any other being, because you never bothered to connect with other people authentically when you were alive–you simply treated each person as an object to be used and consumed.