Sympathy Works Well Too
Empathy destroys my goodwill. Conversations on loss turn into competitions like: Well My Friend Died Once Too or I Was Sad For Six Years, and you, the little girl so much younger than everyone else, you can’t throw their sadness back at their melancholic faces. Sometimes I’d like to pull apart their narrowing eyes and pursed lips, string together a collage of all the exchanges I’ve had and the expressions made when the time comes to delve into the grief of the past and everybody understands. I’m always left with sticky hands and forearms from pushing too deep into the mess that is everybody’s lives and find myself on the walk home trying to rub it off against my coat and therefore end up wearing it.
Because being ‘such a good listener’ is a burden. There is no amount of empathy that could dull the residue left from these sprawling drunk soliloquies. I just end up carrying it all home with me, where it scratches at my skin while I sleep.
And Oh Shit. I just realised I’m happy almost all of the time now.