The Martian

Isolation is real.

Whether in the case of astronaut Mark Watney, played in the movie by Matt Damon, stranded alone for a year-and-a-half on the surface of the planet Mars, or anyone experiencing isolation of any kind. I loved that movie BEFORE its implications meant more to me this year, when the common isolation of spring and summer gave way to another kind of isolation this fall.

In the last post, I talked about one kind of isolation. The one where you need to quiet the voices in a time of crisis. In this post, I’m talking about another kind of isolation.

Human beings make assumptions every day. A warm morning without a check of the weather app could mean not having a jacket with you when the rain hits that afternoon. A whirlwind romance without asking the newfound love of your life if they were raised by any character from season 8 of American Horror Story, and you could end up parenting the Antichrist. Or, making friends with people who are only there for you when things are good, could leave you wondering if there is some commonly held (but not by you because you make assumptions every day) belief that cancer is contagious, and that it can be spread through text messages or phone calls.

By the way, if, while reading this, you start believing the above paragraph applies to you…

*shrugs*

…maybe not. I mean, every disciple asked Jesus if THEY were the one who would betray him. And I have no friends named Judas. But really, there is no better way to know who was carrying the friendship load than for one of those people in that friendship to come down with a very socially awkward disease. And by awkward I mean, one nobody likes talking about because it makes them uncomfortable trying to navigate the feelings they get when that disease invades their comfy hi, how ya doin’ relationships.

And I guarantee you, I have done this myself in the past. I have self-preservation ghosted people before. Never explained it. Just did what I believed I needed to do for my own well-being, not even considering the feelings of that other person. Trust me, this recent revelation, the done to as well as the doing to, was eye-opening in a way that only having a potentially life-ending disease, and all the time in the world while living during a world-wide pandemic, can be.

So yeah, make that two *shrugs*.

Because everybody has their limit. Some people take the elevator. Some people take the stairs. Because not everybody can handle the stairs, and that’s okay. Some people just aren’t given a choice. So for now, this is my stairs. And anyone who wants to take the stairs with me, can. But if you feel the need to take the elevator, don’t worry. Maybe we’ll see each other when we both get to where we’re going.

(c) copyright 2020 William S. Friday

8 thoughts on “The Martian

  1. I’ve never had a large (pardon the word-Circle) of friends. It’s because I learned early on that sooner or later most people will disappoint you and secondly you can’t make people magically be what you need them to be. The first time this hits you hard personally its like losing your first puppy or first puppy love. I’m sorry you had to go through that awakening at the same time living through the dreaded C word. Bottom line we are all better off to have 1 lovely person in our Circle than 12 – then you don’t have to wonder who to call and you know they will be there for you.
    Di

    Liked by 1 person

  2. These words – as most of your words are doing, to be honest – hit hard. The last few years, for me, have truly shown who is really there – and the beauty of it is in the middle, when even though there are still aches from the disappointment of those not here, you have the depth of connection with those who are. Those disappointment aches flared up again within the last year, with the latest battle my Mum was going through – why do our hearts and minds fixate on these? It’s a lot of work to keep steering ourselves to notice the good, worth it, but annoying and hard nonetheless. I’m right there on the stairs with you, though, all the way over here in London. Truly love your writing. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Disappointment always stings. For me, it’s a debate between distancing myself from a potential sting, and learning that the sting doesn’t last. And learning that the ones who have already been given the opportunity to sting, and haven’t, are the ones who will always be there to help the sting of others go away.

      Thank you for still reading, even when the subject is a difficult one.

      Liked by 1 person

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