There’s this thing. Where you meet people who treat you like people. And it’s confusing and new and sort of scary but you throw yourself into it and have conversations and share favorite things and gradually you get used to it, at least part of you. And you start expecting everyone to treat you like a person, even though that’s stupid, even though there’s no reason it should happen now when it didn’t before, and you stop wanting to hang out with people who treat you like half a person, like three quarters of a person, you stop thinking that’s kind, you stop thinking of pity-friends as friends.
And you don’t want to be within 300 feet of the people who unperson you. But that’s not an option. Because they whisper about you in the grocery store, and they stare at you when you walk down the street, and the parents drag their little kids out of the park when you go to sit on the swing, because of your staring eyes, because of your dead -fish mouth, because of the way you move.
And you get un-inured to it.
And the constant hate ceases to be white noise, turns into the air conditioner on power saver turning on and off in the middle of the night and waking you up.
And you never want to just accept that this is the way it is again, you want to keep being angry, even if you never do anything with it, because that anger is yours, and it’s not something they gave you, and it’s not something they want you to feel. And people are upset, people say you’re regressing, because you’re spending so much time on the internet and not with “real people” (with unpeople, like you) (with people who treat you like people, because on the internet no one knows you’re a dog, or on the internet there is a pack of howling wolves we can all be part of). And they say you have to learn to interact with people, as if you haven’t already learned to do the thing they call interacting, which is folding up tight like a gift and letting them rip you open, which is being a good dog-doll-robot-alien-show-and-tell and being still and quiet and sugar coated and not interacting at all, but saying the words when they press the buttons and letting them interact with you like an interactive museum exhibit. And not wanting to talk to people who talk to you like you’re not a person makes you even less of a person but you’d never go back to before.