I forget that people actually engage in relationships beyond what I am familiar with. It seems like something people take for granted; that I take for granted. This is the problem with spending so much of one’s time in solitude – you only see a small portion of the human experience, and sometimes it can blind you like a bug in a cup. Sometimes it can hit you full force before you have a chance to ready yourself; it can strike out of nowhere, a sudden reminder, and you are sent reeling to the earth gasping for air.
I forget occasionally that my experience is atypical. I have no close relations; platonic or otherwise. Do I wish I had any? I cannot answer that much like a colorblind child cannot truly desire color – what she desires is to conform and to belong, not color. In the same way sometimes I look at people in their loving, compassionate families or couples walking hand in hand and I feel a tug of curiosity.
A tug of puzzlement, and it knocks the wind out of me. It strikes me suddenly, painfully, this curiosity – this realization that I am not the common experience. That everyone around me throws around their platitudes and endearments as I do, but they mean it. They mean it in a way I may never understand.
I do believe part of it is fear. I am scared. There is little I genuinely fear in this comprehensible universe, and of the few things I do fear one of them is the unknown. It is a primitive reaction – the caveman who is conditioned to fear the dark and of being in a situation for which he lacks sufficient knowledge or preparation.
In a critical sense I have never been a child, but this is a primitive, childish fear that I identify. I fear to enter the world of the common experience, I fear becoming ensnared in such complex intimate relations, I fear that one day I may longer be able to view the universe in this detached, objective manner that I am capable of now. I fear that one day I will find myself in such a relation, and that I would lose my identity, my focus, my quest for truth.
I am a scientist, above all else. A scientist of human understanding. It is the only thing I have ever had, and I will fight to maintain this objectivity to my dying breath because if I lose this last shred of detachment – the only thing that I truly own – then I will be left with nothing.
If ever I am in such a state of profound intellectual grief, there will be embarked upon a legacy of parallel destruction. It would be the point of no return.