Ok, maybe “hate” is too strong here. I should say “intensely dislike”. I intensely dislike them. I don’t like them. I loathe them. Ok, I hate them.

You know how you meet someone and you get convinced that they’re “it”, that thing you’ve been looking for without realising you were looking, like when your brain attacks a problem subconsciously and then one day you’re walking along and you suddenly yell, “Maya Rudolph!”  and people are staring at you like you’ve lost your mind but they don’t know that you were trying to remember her name two weeks ago and the answer just arrived like your brain is the world’s most annoying postal service, and now you have to quickly exit the immediate area before some enterprising youths show up with ropes to tie you up and take you to the nearest psychiatric hospital, you know when you’re convinced that this person, this previously random stranger you just happened to meet is the whole 9 and 3/4 yards, but they’re not “there” with you? Yeah, I hate that part.

Now, you’re trying to get them “there” with you, and there’s a part of you that’s looking at you like, “You must be outside your natural mind” because of all the work you’re putting in, and it’s like you’re jumping up and down and shouting “Me! Notice me! Pick me! Love me! For fuck’s sake, me!” But it’s not working and you’re starting to get tired, but there’s that voice saying, “You pay that old cynic no mind, child. When this works out, he’ll be eating crow” and the old cynic starts laughing and is like, “And when, exactly, has it ever worked out? You keep getting us into trouble with these foolish fantasies of yours and I’m sick of it!” And then they square off and have a fight and you notice people are starting to avoid you and you don’t know it’s because you look like you’re about to do something really stupid, but they don’t know you’ve already done something really stupid so the joke’s on them but they don’t know that and you can’t shout it at them because those lads with the ropes aren’t far away and you really don’t want to spend time convincing people that you’re not crazy and so you have to bottle it up but it makes you look crazier than ever? I hate that part too.

Raise your hand if you’ve heard this one before: “Anybody would be crazy not to want to be with you.” but the person saying that is doing so while actively playing the role of the exception that proves the rule, and inside your head a voice is screaming in frustration, and is saying to you, “Well, kindly point out that apparently “anybody” excludes you. Going by your statement, are you crazy?” but you were raised better than that and so you have to tell that voice to back the fuck up and stop interrupting you while you try to play another one off and instruct your face to compose itself into that “I’m really not hurt” look and your face is struggling to do it because it’s actually really fucking tired of doing that look and you really are hurt and your face is telling you that you might as well say you’re hurt, and you’re screaming at your face to fucking smile and you kind of twitch a little like you’re spazzing out, but you’re not, and now the person thinks you might be crazy and doesn’t take your calls anymore? Yeah, I really hate that part.

Raise your other hand if you’ve heard this one before: “I think you’re a really great person, but I’m taking a break from relationships to focus on me for a bit” and you’re sure that the break isn’t like, permanent, so you’re pretty sure that if you stick around, when the break ends you’ll have as good a shot as anyone. Then two weeks later, they’re going on and on on social media about how happy they are that they found that someone and your eye starts twitching because it surely doesn’t take two fucking weeks (oh you can put your hands down now, this isn’t a stick up and you look ridiculous trying to scroll with your tongues). And then that voice goes, “Yeah, it wasn’t them, it was you!” and it starts laughing maniacally, and you know that some part of your personality has finally cracked and now you have to spend valuable energy sending the other parts to go tie it up and haul it off to a psychiatric hospital and ask Dr Gruber to be gentle with it because it’s been through a lot, and Dr Gruber smiles kindly and says you shouldn’t worry because the clinic specialises in this sort of thing, but you know it isn’t fucking Good Will Hunting so you may never see that part of you again, but it doesn’t matter because there’s always something new, but it’s not really that simple, and you know it’s not but you have to lie to yourself or all of you will check in to Dr Gruber’s clinic? I hate that part. You know you hate it too.

So, it happened again, and you sit down to analyse whether maybe you are, you know, a little bit crazy to keep missing the signs, or just some kind of machinist who gets off on being stomped into the ground. And then you get convinced that no, you’re not crazy, just suffering from an appallingly long run of bad luck in this department, and you think to yourself that if that little bastard Cupid shoots you with another one of his poxy arrows you’re going to find him and shove that fucking bow up his cherubic ass, because you’re done playing those fucking games, and the next thing you know, you’re making cow eyes at someone new and all your guards mysteriously fell asleep at their posts and now your ears are ringing and the old cynic is crying and laughing at the same time because you’ve gone and done it again and you start to think maybe you should get some help but maybe not because you’re convinced that this time, it’s going to work, and the old cynic heads off to his bar because he knows you’ll be there soon looking morose but you know you can’t help yourself because maybe this is how you’re wired and you can’t change and you know for sure that one day it will work and everyone’s going to be happy but why is it taking so fucking long? I hate that part.

And in the end, even though you know the chances of getting hurt are like 90:10 in favour of face-melting pain, there’s part of you that keeps pushing you like the world’s most sadistic Drill Sergeant, and every time you’re sure you no longer have the energy for this shit and you just want to pack it all in, you find the energy to keep going because maybe part of you is a sucker for pain after all and you might as well admit it to yourself and make your peace with it, but in the meantime you should probably get up and keep moving so you do get up? I hate that part most of all.