I can re-create some of my t-shirt designs in a more time and cost effective way now, though how to market them is a bit of a conundrum to me, since my preference and budget is for one-off, custom shirts rather than bulk-produced, one-design-for-all shirts. For example, the first design I made easy to mass-produce (where ‘mass’ here means dozens, not hundreds or millions) was “my favorite color is green,” which I currently have printed on an orange shirt that I wear, but which I made extensible such that I can print the phrase in a variety of colors, on the color shirt you want, and change out the final word between your choice of “red” “green” “blue” and “black” – though I wouldn’t print “red” on a red shirt, “green” on a green shirt, or “blue” on a blue shirt… and have already begun testing printing “my favorite color is black” in black ink on a black shirt. If you want one, let me know what colors, what size, and we can work out a price that’s fair. To give some sense of what I think a fair price for a handmade shirt is, I could make you the black/black/black shirt for, say, $16 (plus shipping, if need be).
And then, hide anything personal behind “the fold” where no one will notice it, right?
I find myself “not talking to” people lately. Some more than others. Some more intentionally than others. I think it’s part of a symptom of my general, overwhelming apathy.
Most people in the world, I just don’t care about. When people begin to associate with me, I try to let them know, one way or another, that I basically don’t care about them and probably won’t. I try to explain that in a large part, any appearance of interest is merely a reflection of the interest they have for me. I try not to get their hopes too high, I try to explain how things will turn out, I try to explain that despite certain superficial appearances I’m quite depressed. Most people in the world don’t make it past superficial contact. Most people don’t hang around, and most of the time I don’t care.
More currently relevant is that most of the time the people I spend time with, the people I go shopping with or to the movies with or hang out with at coffee shops and parties… most of these are people I don’t care much one way or the other about. Most of the reaching out to people to invite them, say, to join me at the movies, is done when I don’t expect them to be able to attend, and for the specific reason of creating the illusion that I wanted to spend time in their presence. Because people are often more trouble when they think you don’t like them, always wanting to talk about it, or work things out, to be “better liked” or “friends again.” If you call someone once every month or two and invite them to something they can’t make it to though, they usually don’t notice they haven’t seen you in months and don’t care whether you do or not. If you go on long enough like that, you can even stop calling; out of sight, out of mind, as they say.
Correlating with people’s strange need to feel like they are liked by people that they rarely, if ever, see, is this: When I try to explain to people that I don’t care about them specifically, just about having personal and social contact generally, and that it doesn’t matter whether it’s them or some homeless person or a dirty crack whore I picked up in the middle of the night, they get upset. They want me to like them personally rather than to simply like the immediate companionship and pleasure they provide in whatever instances I share with them. Unless someone has known me long and well enough that they’re through the bulk of the learning curve (that is to say, unless I’m no longer in “teacher mode” most of the time I’m with someone, because they know me well enough to understand direct, honest communication riddled with personal and philosophical cues and a few big words), most of the people I meet are effectively identical. The relationship I can have with one bears little difference from the relationship I can have with another, at least for the rest of the decade. (The average learning curve for getting to know me seems to be more than 6 years.) And for the most part, I’m sick of making an effort for people in that class to try to get them to graduate from it, so I just use them for all they’re good for to me; basic, generic companionship and sometimes a bit of generic, impersonal lovemaking.
On another hand, there are the people who, even after years and years and years, I never grew to like or – worse – grew to like less and less the more I knew them. People who have graduated into the small class of people who aren’t on a constant course just to understand the words I put together, but who for one reason or another I just don’t like, or even dislike. I’ve tried to be a friend to them, to be there for them, to give them good advice when they ask for it and to keep my nose out of their business when they don’t want it there, and who, through choices they are clear they would never deign to vary from, have moved further and further from a life I can be a part of. Either I’m ruled out by their life choices or everything I have to say to them goes against that grain and would hurt or offend them, or both. So I just step away, I give up trying to make an effort for the people who put enough effort into learning me to make trying worthwhile, but who ruled me out anyway.
I’m so tired right now. It’s so early, but it’s so past my bed time.