Je n’aime pas les êtres humains!

I used to play a game in coffee shops. I would to try and guess if two people that were sitting together were couples or not. It was a fun game, a harmless game. It was entirely in my head, most of the time. I would occasionally tell someone about it, usually as a ploy to make myself more endearing than I actually am. I would develop overly extravagant stories over tiny mannerisms I detected. For example, I once noticed a man who every now and then affectionately tapped his wife’s (probably) arm whilst they sat together. Perhaps it was a small nuance that perchance she mentioned once in passing. Maybe it was part of an in-joke they had early in their relationship that isn’t as funny as it used to be, or maybe it was just a habit of affection shown between the two of them.

But then, you know, the game seemed a little creepy and I stopped.

What’s far more interesting is people who sit on their own. Coffee shops are a unique place in which society has deemed solitude acceptable. Restaurants, movie theatres and even the supermarket (to a certain extent) have a stigma attached to it – you shouldn’t be on your own, you must bring along with you one of your dearest.

It is, I believe, a relatively brave act to do anything on your own these days. We are constantly scrutinized on our inability to interact with others. Yes, it is an important trait that should be developed from a young age, but is it not an outrage that our entire social landscape is grounded in our ability to ‘have friends’? We are told from a young age, both from our parents and from peers, that being on your own is a bad thing. As such, we are meticulously defined by our friendships and relationships – whether it be their absence, existence or otherwise.

I am aware there have been countless articles about how there are people that love their alone time. There are many of us around that would love nothing better than to just sit at home and watch Netflix, without the distractions and distresses of social interaction. It has been discussed extensively why going to the movies by yourself is better than going with an annoying human. I am not here to talk about why alone time is a requirement of sanity, or that there are those of us that prefer it. I’m here to question the viewpoint we have on solitude.

Why is it acceptable – perhaps “sufficiently reasonable” is a more apt term – that we can negatively perceive those of us that live out our days on our own? Why must we question whether there is something inherently wrong with those of us that spend our days without another? Why did we make fun of the nerds by calling them “Nigel no-friends”? Inversely, why is being social so celebrated? Why do we insist on ‘checking in’ on Facebook with all of our friends every time we go out? Why did we look up to the ‘popular kids’ at school?

It is this culture that brings about a sense of loneliness to our every day. For even those of us that have an excellent foundation of close social relationships, we feel sad and alone when one of them can’t be there for us all the time. Why do we feel hurt when a friend doesn’t respond to our message right away, but we see them posting Instagram photos at the same time? It’s because we feel isolated, just for a second. We shouldn’t have to feel that!

I believe that we as a society put far too much value on social relationships. That is not to say that I think that we shouldn’t have them – despite how much I say I hate people. The best days of my life have been with my loved ones. That being said, I do not believe I should be ashamed of saying “Hey, I’m spending Saturday night at home watching Netflix on my own”, or saying so and needing to justify it with “I just find going out so blergh these days!”. There is too much social pressure to act social!

With the advent of social media, we are bombarded with constant judgment regarding the quality of our social lives. Never before did we actually have a quantitative number on how many friends we have. But with phrases like “I follow back” being paraded around twitter and Instagram there is no denying that that number has a profound effect on our levels of happiness. All I can say is that we make a sound effort to reduce its influence.

Or perhaps, just focus on the coffee in front us, and not on the people at the next table.

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Du Swipa Höger

It was finally gone, thank goodness. Like being relieved of an itch, I felt the anguish dissipate away. It wasn’t that it hurt, or that it was really that annoying, but rather it was just a bother, a distraction, another thing to think about.

The little red flame was deleted from my home screen.

If you’d talked to me a year ago, I would have told you that Tinder was a joke. The judgmental side of me would have taken over, and forced you to question your life choices. You would have met the worst version of myself, forcing my negativity on you like a door-to-door salesman.

But just as so many things have influenced me in the past, I eventually caved.

One thing I noticed on my travels is that the social ‘dating’ app holds a rather different connotation overseas. Perhaps as Australian society is stereotypically more social than others, Tinder has always had the reputation of being a tool purely for the acquisition of a weekend hook-up, or the like. In other societies, however, Tinder is a legitimate way of meeting people. Using the Swedish case study, I can say that it was a rare occasion that I would meet a Swede who did not use the app in some way or form. Whilst yes, it would be often used for it’s stereotypical purpose, conversely there would be plenty of love-lost singles searching for their one true soul mate.

The argument that is so commonly used against Tinder is a simple one. How can you ascertain from a short series of photos and a few lines of text that you would actually connect with someone? Unless you believe in the age old fallacy of love at first sight I cannot say that you can accurately judge someone from this tiny projection of their personality. But, of course, we must ask the following – don’t we pretty much do this anyway?

Whilst yes, we are given a wider range of projections, and generally the advantage of more time and opportunity for intuition, we still really make snap judgments on the way people look and also the first things they say to us. First impressions matter a great deal, and we must not let romantic comedies cloud our acceptance to this. Can we not just say that Tinder allows us to make a tailored and perfected first impression to a greater population?

Perhaps it was plainly due to my mindset at the time, but my Tinder experience was not the most satisfying. Whilst there did come the odd match here and there, I found myself swiping left (‘disliking’) far more often than right. It became more a game of ‘find the flaw’ rather than actually searching for a better half – so much so, that I began to believe that I was too picky for my own good. Some reasons why I actually swiped left were as such:

“No, I can see the phone, that is a terrible selfie”

“Why did she post a photo with that guy? Why doesn’t she just fuck him?”

“She’s at the beach. Hell no”

“Potatoes? Why the hell are there potatoes?”

There were plenty more reasons, but I would like to keep some friends after I post this article, so I will hold them to myself.

Soon, Tinder became mainly a way to dispel my judgmental side. It was addictive not only for that reason, but also because it helped validate my narcissism. Neither of these proved mentally healthy, not to mention the arthritis I will develop in my thumb due to the constant lateral movement. It needed to go.

Now of course, there are plenty of people out there that will defend Tinder to it’s knees. I understand this fully. I know of a few couples who began their journeys through a right swipe. I do think, though, that it takes a certain kind of person in a certain kind of mental state for it to be most effective.

Or maybe it just takes a couple of people that are a little bit right for each other.

You love The Kooks? Me too! We should share bank details.

I’m going to talk about something I am not proud of. It’s something I think we all have to deal with, but we all address the problem in different ways. It takes up large portions of our time and, unfortunately, can be unavoidable in many situations. We face the problem when we least expect it, and most crucially of all, when we cannot be bothered.

Charity Street Collectors.

Yes, I know, they are there for a good cause. Charities like World Vision and The Cancer Council depend on the kindness of the public to raise funds to fight hunger and disease all around the world. There is just something about an overly chirpy stranger walking up to me on the street, starting a generic conversation about whatever band T-shirt I may be wearing then asking what my account number is two minutes later. It’s uncomfortable and a little awkward.

The general tactic that I use is the “avoidance at all costs” maneuver. Generally this involves crossing a street I didn’t need to cross, making a hasty change in direction, or, if all else fails, an abrupt about-turn. These moves are usually effective, but they require a crucial element – foresight. As I said before, these collectors are swift and cunning. They can appear out of nowhere. Streets these days like walking through the long grass in a Pokémon game (Wild charity collector appeared!). When this happens, your choices are limited. I always like to feign hurry – being late for a train or a bus proves rather effective. This usually means you have to add a little pace to your walk and maybe a few glances towards your watch. Other methods include the sudden phone call, or the “you guys caught me earlier!” line.

Sometimes, though, you get stuck in the conversation. You go along with it all, you nod when you deem it prudent, and then, when it comes time to the moment when you have to bring out your bankcard, you start making excuses.

“Oh sorry I don’t have it on me right now”

“I really don’t feel comfortable handing out my details”

“I have no money”

They always have a response, though. Sometimes they can call up your bank, many times they guilt you out of it (It’s just the cost of a coffee a day!), or they use the ever popular “but you can cancel any time!” Most of the time, though, they just talk to you long enough so that you eventually give in. Whether you sign up or not, you leave the encounter feeling overly guilty, or, you have fifteen dollars leaving your already unimpressive bank account every week.

Now obviously, I will not say that these collectors are doing anything to hurt anyone seriously. They are warriors in a noble cause. Thick-skinned beyond belief and trained to deal with the harshest that humanity can throw. It is just the overly up front and in-your-face approach that I find uncomfortable. If it were just a one-off donations system, I would more than happily donate ten dollars or so to an important cause. But considering I am just a mere student living off ten hours of retail work a week, I don’t have much to give up on a regular basis.

So, until I earn enough money to regularly donate, I’m going to be walking the long way round to the bus stand at Central station.

Lights, Camera, and some peace and quiet please?

It is rather amazing, really, that I haven’t yet written about movie theatres. Going to the cinema is such a significant and important part of my life. It provides me with a chance to escape from whatever is happening for a while. There are no assessments to do in the movie theatre; there are no rude customers or silly chores. There is only the simple peace that is a chair, darkness and a film.

But of course, like everything in this world, there is only one thing and one thing only that can ruin such a happy place.

People.

The human race has caused more destruction on this earth than any other species that has ever roamed it. We have destroyed forests, killed coral reefs, bombed cities and melted glaciers. It would seem foolish to suggest that humans could not ruin the only consistent peace and sanctity that I have in my life.

There are a series of dreaded things that infuriate me about people in movie theatres. Whether it is the white glow of a mobile phone, the steady chatter that acts like a drone under the film or the classic static from a sweet wrapper – every little one of these things acts as a distraction from the primary reason why we’ve paid 16 dollars to get in theatre. The movies are an escape – 2 hours to not deal with our lives for a while and be fascinated by the characters on the screen. I don’t need your Kit Kat bringing me back to the real world.

One time, I saw someone live-tweeting a film. It goes without saying that if I had magical powers they would have been avada kedavera-ed so fast they wouldn’t even get a chance to check-in on foursquare.

Now, you may be asking “But Sidd, What if I get a text message during the film? I don’t want to keep them waiting”. My answer is “Fuck you, they can wait”.

You may be asking, “But Sidd, what if I get hungry in the movie?” My answer is “Fuck you, you fat piece of shit”.

You may be asking, “But Sidd, I really need to go to the bathroom, can I get up and leave for a little bit?” My answer is “You should have gone before, Fuck you and your bladder”.

(That may have got a little violent, I apologise).

It is reasons like this that I never like going to see blockbuster films on their release day. There are always hundreds of people all on their phones and whispering under their breath. It is far nicer just waiting a week or so and getting an empty, or at least less full, theatre where you can just sit and engross yourself in the film. There is nothing nicer than an empty movie theatre.

After all this, you may be thinking, “Wow, Sidd really doesn’t like people talking during the movie”. You would be right. The movie theatre is a place where your unequivocal aim should be to not physically exist, fully and completely. You should be comprehensively one with film. This just got very philosophical. I was not intending this.

In the end, it seems, the cinema has just become another thing that humanity has ruined through its irrevocable idiosyncrasies. We can’t get too much right, can we?

Tom walked to her apartment, intoxicated by the promise of the evening.

I watched the film “Twelve Years a Slave” the other day. While I thought it was an incredible story and a very well made film, there was something that held me back from loving the movie. I spent the following few days trying to figure out what exactly it was – whether I found it too violent, or too slow – but I soon came to realise that it was none of those things, rather it was the fact that everyone and everything had hyped the quality of the film to a level beyond what it deserved.

This got me thinking (dangerous, I know) about the concept of ‘hype’ and how it has the ability to ruin everything that is good in our lives. The second someone tells you that something is ‘good’, your reaction to that thing is doomed to be a comparison of their feelings. It doesn’t matter how good you are at blocking out their opinions, their viewpoint will always be sizzling in the back of your mind, poking at your senses, unconsciously and automatically inflicting their demons upon them.

It’s not just about films either.

“Here, take a sip of this drink, it’s amazing”

“I wasn’t a huge fan of that restaurant”

“I have a friend named Sam, I think you two would really hit it off”

That’s why I hate hearing what people think of films or books, especially ones that I’ve been looking forward to. I know that someone reading the Harry Potter series today would never enjoy it as much as I did when I first read them because of all the fanfare surrounding them these days.

Admittedly, hype could also have the opposite affect, especially when something has been hyped down. My most recent experience of this involved the city of Paris. I was always told that it was rather a disappointment – apart from the Eiffel tower and the Mona Lisa, there was nothing to get overly fussed about. Maybe this lowered my expectations of the city, but I ended up adoring that little town. Nonetheless, however, I am fairly sure I would have still really liked Paris if I had heard nothing about it. Imagine never having heard of the Eiffel Tower, and then seeing for the first time!

Every now and then, though, there comes the things in life that power through all the hype. They are different for everyone, I think, which is a peaceful thought. Maybe there are so remarkable to you that no amount of hype can overthrow the expectation. Things that give you that shivering sensation when you encounter them or make you learn forward and scream into your fist. I guess, maybe, it’s those things that keep us going, those things that make life worth living. Maybe that’s why we meet new people, see new films and visit new places – to see if life can gift us with another spine shivering moment.

Makes it all kind of worth it then, doesn’t it?

Did you want paper, plastic or just shut the f**k up?

I work at a supermarket, and whilst that sounds incredibly bland and mundane, I’ve noticed that it’s an incredibly amazing place to people watch. This is an environment where people come to buy items necessary for life, though do not wish to part with their hard earned cash. It is not like entering a boutique store where you inspect items, consider whether it is worthy of your money and then choose to buy or not buy the item and your final decision not impacting the grand scheme of your life. No, you go to a supermarket to buy essentials – bread, milk, chocolate etc – all crucial to existence. This makes the supermarket floor a grape-ridden, detergent-reeking battlefield between customers and staff.
There are a few different kinds of customers we encounter on a daily basis. Firstly, there’s the Perfectionist. These are the people that are overly picky about the quality of products. If there is a scratch on a box, they won’t look at it. If the roots of a carrot are not adequately bushy, there will be pandemonium. They are the ones that will request that you look ‘out back’ to check if there is another item in stock, and if not, demand a discount.
Related to the Perfectionist is the Troll. These are the people that will go out of their way to get every item for free. They know that there is nothing wrong with the item, but still try and call out the staff to manipulate a deal. I’ve heard lines like “That apple is an odd colour, can I get it for free?” No, you can’t. There are other apples. It’s not the last apple on earth. Just go and pick out another one.
The Mad-Packer is one that is quite difficult to deal with. They demand for their bags to be packed in a certain way, ensuring that all items are cushioned and put in no danger. They are under the impression that we as cashiers are determined to destroy all of their items. After handing us their enviro-friendly bags they will begin their commands. “Don’t pack the grapes next the kiwi-fruit, they’ll get squashed!!” or “Keep the tomatoes separate from the light globes! They might develop Chlamydia!!” (I may have exaggerated).
Then there are the Germaphobes who believe that everyone and everything is carrying some kind of disease. They are the ones who wrap their hands in plastic bags when exchanging money, or attempt to scan their loyalty cards themselves by reaching over the counter (often unsuccessfully, I must add).
The Kidders, whilst not actually being any sort of nuisance, can be so at times. They are the ones that will, upon an item not scanning properly, make the joke “Oh well it must be free then!” If you’re having a good day, these are the people that will make your day better. But if you’re six hours in to a nine-hour shift, these people are just annoying.
The Demanders are some of the most irritating customers. They are generally disguised as nice, friendly people, so you don’t see them coming. But after they leave you realize you have just spent thirty minutes attending to just that customer’s needs. One such regular comes to mind – every Thursday she comes in and asks for already cut pumpkins to be cut to her specifications, she asks for chickens to be cooked in a certain way and for bags to be packed containing certain things. There is a point when customer service moves from a cashier-customer relationship to a master-servant one.
Last, but not least, are the Turtles. These people generally live in their own world and forget that others are shopping at the same time. They travel around the store, pushing their trolleys and traveling at speeds of half-a-metre/ hour. They take their time loading the conveyor belt at the checkout, and often call out “Oh I forgot something, I’ll just be a second…” then go off across the store to find more items, holding up everyone else in line. They are the ones that take out their wallets after the cost has been announced to them and only begin the search for their loyalty cards when asked.
Don’t get me wrong – working at a supermarket isn’t that bad. Whilst there are the odd angry and annoying customers, you always get plenty of really friendly people come through that make you day. Also, working with some of the nicest people around helps a lot too. One thing you always know is that at the end of the day, you’re always going to have a story to tell. 

I, the bank, and you, the postman.

This week I experienced possibly one of modern humanity’s most awkward situations. It is that of the eBay purchase direct pick up.
Two days previous, in my many hours of procrastination (which is saying something, considering it’s only the second week of semester), I embarked on our online shopping friend just for a casual browse. This for me is quite regular, but rare is the occasion when I actually put my mouse forward and buy something. However, this was one such occasion. I spied a set of DVDs – A box set, if you will – of one of my favourite television sit-coms, 30 Rock. It was at a bargain price, considering it’s condition, so I decided that I should offer a certain amount of money to its purchase. Miraculously, I won the bidding war (It was a Buy–It–Now item) and found myself the owner-to-be of a set of discs that should provide me with hours of entertainment.
As I went forth to pay for my item, I noticed that the current owner also lived in Sydney. This made me question the extravagant extra fee that I was being charged for postage (seven dollars). I decided then to contact the seller and request that I retrieve the package from them directly.
And so a date was set for the transaction to be completed! A central location was selected (quite literally, Central Station). A series of communications were exchanged between the Seller and I (like, four text messages), confirming that the man I was purchasing my treasure from was a gentleman named William.
And so I stood at the designated meeting point, with enough funds to present my deliverer with secured in my pocket. I had received a communiqué stating that he would arrive within minutes. I began analysing passers by and trying to guess who would be the one to bring me my prize. I eyed a passer who I considered a possible candidate, though he walked by without a care. Another stood near and inspected his iPhone, I guessed maybe about to send me a message questioning my location, but no, no message arrived and I continued my wait.
Then he appeared, as if to break through the crowd towards the dowry he so desired. I knew he was the man I was looking for as he was holding my dearest in his left hand. And thus, the interaction began.
I shook the man’s free hand and offered a greeting, which he returned. He automatically moved the item towards me, and I grabbed it with enthusiastic force. I inspected it all over, turning the encasing box in my hands. Upon approve, I reached in my pocket and handing dear William his earnings, which he took and pocketed himself. Then there was a pause, I looked at him and he looked at me. The break must have lasted just a second, but it may have lasted hours. That was it, the end of our journey. I had received what I wanted from dear William, and William had received what he wanted from me. I held my hand for him to shake again, and as he obliged, I sent my regards and turned away, never to see him once more.
It is a frightening thought, is it not, to know that our social interactions have become so simple and emotionless? I will not think of William when I watch my DVDs, nor will William think of me as he spends his money. But such awkward interactions have become a commonality. Should I have engaged in a form of conversation with William? Should he have offered me any words of good fortune with my purchase as he left? Or did we just reenact the process of a bank transfer in person?
Or maybe I should just next time pay the extra for postage? 

The Narcissist and The Character.

The Character is His own. It is singular of all others and all things. There is no dependance, nor any dependent, regardless of any external viewpoint. There is merely an Audience to observe its grandeur, to learn from its intelligence, to bask in the glow. There is no blood running through its limbs, for that would be a sign of mortality. It has no greater aim than to be itself for now and for later, an aim He believes that the audience should mimic. It itself is perfection, and any flaw is primarily decided upon to relax its viewership. 

Its interactions are theatrics presented to the Audience – to excite, to enrage, to endear. It is a character created in the vision of excellency, made to ensue envy throughout the crowd. It entertains as would a film, evoking themes of love and joy, but also heartbreak and sorrow. He is his character, but they are not one in the same. 

The Character is grand. He, however, is excellent for creating it. He is the author and designer, the playwright and director. The Character is merely based on Him. It looks alike, it sounds alike, but that is all. For He and his Character are not equal. The Character is far greater – it is more intelligent, more charismatic, more attractive and more skilled. It is created in a way to ensure that the Audience will recognize its brilliance.  

He hides behind the Character in its shadow, a place of safety and security. No harm can come to him here, for all pain is inflicted on the ever changing external. The Character is merely altered to compensate. He is brilliant enough to create magnificence from inflicted pain – the Audience respects those who have been through harm. 

Every judgement made on the Character by the audience can be manipulated by Him to ensure that its perception remains level. If it is inflicted with pity, He turns that into respect. If it is viewed as selfish, He ensures it is paltry self confidence. There is no repercussion that can be permanently harmful, only the foundation of grand tales. Every sky-scraper and every monument is build on dirt and rubble, just as every magnificent story is built on indignation and filth. 

And each story is magnificent, created in His mind. Stories of the past and maybe stories of the future, based on extensive research on the Audiences’ tastes. Birthplaces, homes, friends and relatives – all altered and lied about to create the most attractive individual. For He is a liar – a brilliant one. There is no field that is sacred in his domain, for his ability to alter the truth is matched by no one. The Character is perfect, even if He isn’t so. He lies not through his teeth, but through the Character. Every facet of the Character’s ‘personality’ is falsity based on one of His own truths. 

Whilst the Character shields him from the harm of the external, He is not shielded by the residue from the Character. There is a constant feeling of guilt, of shame and, more heavily, the fear that he might be revealed. His ability to lie is frightening for Him – he can no longer tell the truth as it feels unnatural. He is a puppet-master, for now and forever and he will die under the disguise of the Character. He will feel no love as he feels no pain, for He has no interaction with the Audience and the external. As a father lives through his children, He lives through the Character. His creative intelligence and brilliance comes at this cost, and it is far too late to break the fourth wall. He is alone, and only feels the inside of the Character’s mask. 

The costume of the Character remains as attractive and endearing as it was and will always be. Underneath, however, unseen by the external, the hems fray. The Character will die, either due to the revelation of His existence by a member of the audience, or due to the residue seeping through and destroying Him. He will die under the mask, unseen by the world, with the name of the Character etched upon the tomb. 

Nobody ever questions how exactly Mary got that little lamb now, do they?


People get me thinking, for some reason or another. Maybe it’s because I’m continuously bored, or maybe it’s because I listened, once, in a psychology lecture, but I find myself wondering – continuously – why the hell do people do the things they do. 

Why does the guy on the train play music from his phone at a volume that irritates the neurones out of every other passenger’s brain? Does he lack the ability to feel concern for the affairs of others? Or does he simply not care? Is he very proud of his musical taste and hopes that all others will enjoy it also? Maybe he is bored and wants to start an argument just to make his enduring journey pass more quickly, or maybe he’s going to run a marathon in an hour and the only sound that will get him pumped up enough is ‘Lil Wayne singing about how his modified Cadillac got repossessed while he was in jail?
I can’t be the only one that wonders why these blimps in humanity behave the way that they do. We’d all like to think that they are thoughtful and good when they want to be, or that they only react to situations in this way because something terrible happened to them long ago and they have lost the ability to feel compassion for another human being. It is easy to be judgemental of the different or the abnormal. What really interests me is why the average person, or the ‘normal group’, behave the way that they do. Why does the average train commuter sit quietly against the window and read the Sydney Morning Herald on the way home? More interestingly, why does the teenager next to them listen to music? Why does the twenty-nine year old lady read OK magazine? Why does the nurse just sit blankly staring out the window? 
What causes us to make the choices that we make? Why is it that right now I am writing this article when I probably should be studying for my anatomy mid-semester? The answer, you could say, is that I enjoy writing more that I do studying anatomy and that’s why I made this choice. But why do I write when I am procrastinating and not play video games or spend hours on Tumblr like other people who don’t want to study? What happened in my life that made me a writer and Joe Smith down the road a gamer? Is it because I am more educated? Is it because I think far to much and feel like reducing others to my level? Am I writing this just to get it off my mind, or just to so people can comment and feed my ego?
The answer to this is simple – we all have a story. A story that makes us who we are. It is a compilation of how our parents brought us up and the values they taught us to recognise along with the impact of the hundreds (and now with the impact of television and popular culture, probably millions) of people. But can we assume that none of who we are is purely genetic? If we all were brought up in the same culture would we all end up the same? If twins were brought up across the world from each other (a la Danny Devito and Arnold Schwarzenegger) would they end up completely different? The ‘Nature vs Nurture’ debate that has been going on for centuries. 
The truth of the matter is that every single thing that you are and who you will become is based on who you were. You can be told to forget the past, but whether you like it or not it will effect who you will become. It is because once our first commuter couldn’t enter a conversation about the global financial crisis that he reads the Herald on the train. It is because once our teenager danced to a new band at a night club why he listens to music. Our twenty-nine year old lady heard some gossip that she wanted confirm, and our nurse, well maybe she just forgot her novel at the hospital. 

We can select our friends after weeks of analysis, but we have to select our life-partners over dinner?

There are seven billion people on this earth. Billions have come before us and billions will come after. Everyone that has ever been, that ever will be and that is. 

Everyday, you encounter less than one percent of the earth’s population. On average you speak to two new people a day. You have people you see daily who you never talk to. These are people who you recognise and who recognise you. You wonder where they are on days you don’t see them, even at least for a millisecond. But they are there just to let you know that there are other people in this world. The awkward glance, or the smile forcibly returned lets you know that other people are the same as you on the inside, that you are kid with backpack to briefcase carrying suit guy.

And once you forget about briefcase carrying suit guy you meet the people you know, but not well enough to talk to. You smile and they smile back, maybe a nod of the head, whilst drastically searching through your memory to attach a name to a face.

Then there are the people who you do know well enough to talk to, but not well enough to create an actual, meaningful conversation. You generally meet these people whilst walking in the opposite direction to them. You see them from a distance and say hi, they say hi back. It reaches a point where you both realise that you have to finish a complete conversation in about 10 seconds before you pass each other. This usually results in a completely useless and obvious question:

“Going to class?”  
“Yep”
“Ok see-ya around”
“Yep see-ya”.
The next group that comes are people that you work or have class with. You don’t necessarily like these people or know them that well, but you are forced into conversation because of your situation. You ask about how long till they finish class, followed be the obligatory ‘oh really, that sucks’ or the ‘Ahh lucky you, I’m still here until ___’. The long, awkward pauses, or if your like me, boring statements that are only of mild interest just to void the never ending tension 
“So yeah this stool is really uncomfortable hey…”
Then, you eventually reach the people you want to talk to. These are those who fall into your list of top people in your life. These are the people you look forward to seeing, the people who grab your attention so as you forget about all others. The people you say ‘see you later’ to and know that you will in truth see them later. It is a group that is usually small and highly selective with a rigorous selection process, followed by a tough orientation period. Examination after examination, frequent callbacks and follow up interviews, a group that lives in a solid brick house with only a back door that needs to be hammered down to get out of.
Sometimes I wonder why all people couldn’t fall in this group. Then I remember than if they did, I wouldn’t really get much done.