Today started out bleak enough: I went to work, considering the idea that my sole reason for employment is so that people can watch other people pretend to be people they aren’t, and eat food while they watch this spectacle.

I tried to console myself with the idea that I am facilitating a modern version of a tradition that has its roots in the 5th century BC, and that this tradition is one of the ultimate group experiences to be found in a society with a shared language…

It did me no good. All I could think was that the whole thing seemed like the biggest load of nonsense. Maybe it is.

I stopped caring about any of that later though. She said she needed to talk to me about something and sort of implored the manager to leave the office…and then she said she’d recently found out some really horrible news…and she started destroying a bit of cardboard…and crying…and said that it was terminal.

Never in my life have I experienced that sort of paralyzing horror.

Not that I was assuming…but…you know me…I expect the worst…and I know she has some health problems…but…I couldn’t think of how to word that question…what phrase?…I don’t know her that well yet…so…I just looked at her for a long time while she was crying, and she didn’t say anything. Finally, I managed to crank out the word “Clarify”…

It’s a family member of someone she knows.
That doesn’t make it okay, obviously. That doesn’t mean it’s not something to be upset about. For her, at least. I can’t really be genuinely upset about the anticipated death of someone I don’t know…but I can be sad for her because of her anxiety and because my observations of her tell me she is a deeply affectionate creature, and it distresses me to see her being upset, knowing her anxiety prevents her from hiding her emotions as completely as she wants to…

But…DON’T FUCKING TELL ME THESE THINGS IN A WAY THAT MAKES ME THINK YOU ARE THE ONE DYING.

*collapses*
I’m only able to process so much at a time…

I think I handled it badly. Probably because of the relief of understanding that she is not the one dying (at least no more so than all of us are). I did not hug her though. I feel like I should have offered to, but I did not. Because we already had a conversation about preferring to forego physical contact with other human creatures.

But I should have offered to. I may do so if she still seems sad on Tuesday. I wasn’t going to go see her…but…I feel like I should now. I don’t want her to be sad. And I kind of wish I didn’t know still…but…this is always how things happen to me with people whom I befriend and genuinely start to care about…they tell me about things that make them sad. And I feel like I have to fix it. Like…like they’re falling, and I am trying to catch them. And I know I can’t do it. But I must do it because I cannot do anything else. I can’t stop myself trying to catch them…

I didn’t even mean to like her this much.

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