Things Are Bothersome

Things Are Bothersome

An entirely subjective account that hopefully scrapes at a couple things greater than itself, but maybe not, I do not know.

Mae McDermott

As a new college student and new adult really it is my job to feel antagonized. It is my social responsibility now. Those who know me know well that I am fragile and easily offended, so, fortunately, I have a lot of practice in feeling scandalized and devastated by events big and small, public and personal. For the fact of the matter is that what is public and external, when dissonant against one's sense of self, feels deeply personal. When we take all that is put out into the world, even inadvertently or ignorantly, as a statement, it is fiendishly easy to find the whispers of such seemingly inane, voiceless things swirling in your ear. And people tell me to lighten up.

I think I will not, a risk of heart disease or no. There is intention and reason to everything that collides to create the bothersome. Myriad forces have mounted and thrown themselves to my attention. What else shall I do but respond to these statements?

I am a person who plays music sometimes in my room. Sometimes I don't wish to use earphones, and the walls are thin. Perhaps I have been bothersome to my neighbors with my alto yowling. That said, how bothersome when people play loud music in their rooms. Yes, they are young and college and blithe and skin and youth and hooray. But Saturdays deserve respect too. Do not invite the pizza delivery boy into your room and then have a dance party. Not even for five minutes. Relocate, relocate, relocate. Get away from my space, and the space of everyone else. Awareness. Have some vague awareness of the noise you create.

If you identify as a man do not raise your hand in response to feminist comments. At the risk of sounding didactic, I would advise against it particularly if you are a man in a writing class full of women. But can't the gentleman defend the writing and claims of the 16th-century essayist? Maybe I am the discriminator. Maybe I am a dreadful stifler. What do gentleman do with stifling hags like myself? Burning me at the stake would require effort, and anyway would be dreadfully messy and overt. It is easier and more insidious to ignore and dismiss my feelings. He ignores my judgment on the essay, my perspective that perhaps the claims within are offensive because people have always had feelings and therefore hurtful statements have always been wrong, and always hurtful. He has stopped listening to my rebuttal because he has already spoken.

I would like to be rich and donate money and buy a beach house for my mom, but paradoxically I choose to be a writing major. This means that I write essays and poems about my mom to compensate for the fact that I cannot buy her a beach house. School is a factory. I am churning out work and I wish for it all to be glorious. It is a bother when it isn't. These are not the concerns of one who has a beach house.

I would like for someone to hold the door open for me. Never in my life have I had so many literal doors slam in my face in the space of five weeks. A climax of bother and wonderment. I am in awe of the litany of door-slamming. Parenting is a difficult job, and I don't profess to have any knowledge, but this student-body plague makes me wonder what these children have gone through that they don't understand the niceties of door-holding, pleases, and thank-yous. My wish to teach them better ways is overtaken by the rage of having heavy black doors fall against my small body. What on earth are they thinking? Or are they thinking at all? I don't understand thoughtlessness. I don't understand the absence that has to obstinately seat itself inside one's head for one to have no regard for others even in this small but important capacity. How wretched!

I wonder if everyone is pretending. I see pictures of impossibly shiny faces and terribly happy promises that all is not only well but better than it has ever been, for any human being on the face of this planet or any other. But you just met… you are already best friends? Or… sisters? I didn't know it was so easy. There is a chance it is so easy and I really do not know; in this case, I am further vexed because it is not easy for me.

I would like for things to be easy, yet I know they cannot be. I would like to fall into patterns and friends and manageability and hurrah. Things are, generally, not easy. Ease is a matter of time and a matter of the person. I have never found things to be easy.

But I am getting comfortable in the tight, unending motion of the challenging. It is like very brisk air against the skin and inside the lungs. If I can still feel my lungs inflating with this blazing air, I am still breathing; if I am still breathing, I can live to transform some things that bother me, or at least learn to write about them good.

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