It’s been a while since I introduced a friend on this blog, hasn’t it?
(I introduced a friend last week, but I changed up the post order, just bear with me, I don’t have the time to rewrite an entire intro, aha)
That’s because I don’t throw the word ‘friend’ around very freely. However, if I’ve reached the point where I talk with someone almost every day and even stayed in their home, I suppose that’s what we are. So, it’s with great pleasure that I introduce a new figure that I might make reference to on this blog sometimes, the individual whom I will refer to as Jack.
As with all my friends, we met in an unconventional manner – we had joined the same Discord server, and basically latched onto each other as the only reasonable people in the entire bunch. They enjoyed my insights into a story we were reading together, and I appreciated their candor and enthusiasm. Eventually, as we talked more frequently, we got to know each other.
Of course, I wouldn’t be me if that was enough to start a friendship. I think what really kicked it off is when we started to read and watch things together.
The fact of the matter is, I have a higher tolerance for violence and psychological horror in fiction than other people, and I have been blessed with a life free of trauma, so there are some stories I enjoy that I can’t freely recommend in good conscience. Jack, however, shares my enthusiasm for such stories, and it’s really nice to have someone to talk about these works with.
It also means that I have an audience for some of my more self-indulgent, darker stuff – and Jack’s unabashed support for my literary ambitions is really such a big help. Every time they express excitement for a story of mine, I’m doubly motivated to get it done.
With Jack, I managed to get them to watch Hunter x Hunter and listen to The Black Tapes Podcast and read an intense online novel that I found, and they never fail to let me know what they think of my recommendations. It’s always so much fun to discuss stories, characters, and scenarios with them.
I think of all the people whom I keep regular contact with, Jack was the most unexpected. It was a highly specific set of circumstances that allowed us to meet, but it was also a highly specific set of circumstances that encouraged us to stay in contact with each other.
If you stick around on my blog for a while, you’ll find that as much as I write posts about stories and storytelling, I also write a lot of posts about myself. Especially in the earlier years, I spent a lot of posts trying to understand myself and reconcile social norms with my inability to understand romantic or sexual attraction.
Around the time I met Jack, an aromantic acquaintance of mine had started dating someone, realizing that they were not aromantic after all. In addition to that, a close friend of mine had started dating – was the first of my friends to do so – and I was having extreme difficulty working through my own emotions. For several months, I felt isolated and confused. It was the first time I ever really hated an aspect of myself, and I resented being both aromantic and asexual.
So, when I learned that Jack could understand my sentiments – my confusion regarding dating and the preoccupation with romance – it was honestly a relief. Speaking with them gave me the opportunity to openly express my discontent with society’s glorification of romance, my frustration at casual belittlement of platonic bonds, and it helped me release a lot of toxic feelings that I hadn’t known were building up.
I’ve known Jack for less time than any of my other friends, and even acquaintances, so I’m still getting to know them. However, I appreciate their open enthusiasm for the things they like, and I am grateful for their appreciation of my own interests. They also live a far healthier lifestyle than me, so that motivates me to try harder myself, ahaha.
Ah, shoot, class is starting. I’ll have to slip out for now. All the same, I am glad to have met and am eager to learn more about Jack.