Recently, I decided that I was done making new friends. This might seem like a premature decision, especially given that I currently spend all my non-internet based time with My One Friend in Washington, and it sometimes happens that My One Friend's interest don't coincide with mine. For example, Seb doesn't shop, and he is opposed to going to see both the Edward Hopper exhibit at the National Gallery and Darjeeling Limited with me. (Seriously, what use is having One Friend when you can't agree on these basic activities?)
Nonetheless, I am done making new friends. Everyone I meet in Washington is attractive, well-educated, and nice (AWEN). They're all very friendly and ask about my university, my job, my future plans. I ask them similar questions (though I can admit no great interest in their responses--oh, you went to Cornell too? that's very nice). After this, I can't think of anything else to talk about. We drink. We part. I never contact them again. At work, this happens on a daily basis, minus the drinking. My office seems AWEN, and I don't actually understand what their jobs consist of. I could discuss this with them, but I don't think it would improve their perception of me if I confessed my ignorance. And what if I asked, they told me, and it turned out to be boring and incapable of generating further conversation? It is safer to stay quiet. My roommates could also be befriended, but they are also very AWEN. Conversation is sparse. Sometimes we discuss chores, or television, but I never know enough about what's on TV to carry a conversation. If I invited them out, I sense that they might accept, but the evening would be silent, so that's probably inadvisable.
Maybe if everyone weren't so perfectly AWEN, and instead they were a little neurotic or maladjusted (and not just in a self-consciously cute way), I could find something to talk about with them. Like "In the Penal Colony"? What is that about? Or whether Philip Roth is worse than Saul Bellow? Or how otherkin is, like, the most absurd and terrifying symptom of our internet future ever? Or whether there can be Being outside New York City, or are we trapped in a permanent Becoming? If AWEN people think about these things, they don't seem interested in spontaneously sharing their thoughts with me. And it's a lot of work to coax these things out of them, work that seemingly requires all kinds of charisma that I don't possess.
Besides, I already have enough friends to keep track of; they have just conveniently dispersed themselves all over the world. And whose fault is that?
EDIT: In response to your concerns, dear readers, I still like you. I just hate everyone I haven't met yet.