December 28, 2008

Last week I met Liza's new boyfriend. Afterwards she sent me a text saying how much he enjoyed meeting me. She also said he thought I was much less annoying than he had expected me to be from my writing.

Then she wrote: "To know you is to love you"

Is this true? I'm not so sure.

I think to meet me for 90 minutes over sushi is to love me. After that, it goes downhill.

When people really get to know me, I've found they start to loathe me. Either that or they associate all the loneliness and isolation that has befallen their life with my influence.

Every since becoming close friends with Sophie I've noticed that whenever there's something that's going wrong or that implies laziness or sadness - it because she's been hanging out with me.

She used to be an intrepid, adventurous person. Now, if she has to walk four blocks out of her way to the supermarket for a diet soda they won't stock at the deli on the corner, it's an ordeal.

"I try and keep it in a two-block radius whenever possible," she says. "I've become like you."

If she had really become like me, she wouldn't go out. She would get the deli man to deliver.

Another thing is that she's become a lot more pessimistic. She worries about things too. The other day she had a headache in her apartment. "Do you think it's noxious fumes?" She asked. She hurt her knee in yoga. "Do you think I'll need surgery?" It's not just about her either. "I'm worried my cat might have Attention Deficit Disorder."

I'm not sure if the angst was there all along and I brought it out or, having spent time with me, a new world has opened up.

It used to be I would call her and ask how it's going and she would respond with something cheerful and upbeat. Now when I ask how things are she'll say "not good."

M y next question is 'why?' and what follows will be an explanation of what's gone wrong or about to go wrong and then the story will invariably end with the line, "I'm turning into you!"

I try to take that as a compliment.

People say all the time that misery loves company but only if that company doesn't make you more miserable. You have to know when to hold your ground. For instance, Sophie is very easy-going. She'll drink coffee from Dunkin Donuts, sleep on a soft mattress, and walk barefoot on the carpet in a hotel room. When we went away together, she was amused and referred to my issues as being "particular."

I loved that. I'm not difficult, I'm particular.

To know me is to endure me.