Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

This is for all of you. Sorry I’m not there, and that you’re not here.  §

I miss all of the people I don’t know.

The people that I should have met but I didn’t because I didn’t “get involved,” didn’t “put myself out there,” didn’t “go when everyone else was going,” didn’t feel like they were worth knowing and so I don’t. I’m sorry to all of you. Probably there were things you needed from me. I’m fairly sure there were also things that I needed from you.

© Aron Hsiao / 2004

Also the people that I used to know but that I don’t know now, because of shit that happened. Some of the shit is yours. Some of the shit is mine. In the moment, shit always seems tremendously important. Okay, let’s be real—in the moment, shit is tremendously important because the day-to-day relationships of your life shape the way that your life works, and what problems you actually have to logistically deal with, and what bills you actually have to pay, and so on. So maybe it’s unavoidable that shit happens and friendships end as a result.

But it’s also real to say that later on when you can elide all of that practical shit (this is the thing, we always pretend that emotional turmoil isn’t practical, but in fact it’s the most practical thing on earth if you happen to be human), later on—years later on—you look back with the privilege of faulty hindsight and wish that you hadn’t let all that shit come between you. And so I do.

We’re all strangers to each other anyway—that’s the human condition—so it’s a sort of double tragedy when not only are we strangers, but we don’t even get to be strangers in the same room. People act as though being strangers in the same room is some sort of tragedy, but in fact it’s also a privilege, one of the best things that you can hope for. Probably all that you can get.

On the day you die, you can either die surrounded by strangers in the same room or you can die surrounded by nobody at all. Everyone from time to time plays it off as though doing the latter is some sort of principled stand, but of course as my parents would have said sometime in that hazy patch of underappreciated naivete called childhood, “you think you’re having an effect on something, but the only person you’re affecting is yourself.”

I’m sitting here and my SMS beep is gong off and I’m ignoring it, because mostly I’m a hypocrite, like everyone. I should be responding. But I won’t. If I won’t, I shouldn’t stand by what I just wrote. But I will.

That’s how it goes. None of it makes sense, unless you’re a sociopath. Everything makes sense to sociopaths. That’s what makes them sociopaths.

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