Gentleman and scholar: I hope you can read minds

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily represent those of Maryville College or the Highland Echo staff.

Despite the fact that the universe remains indifferent, I feel like it personally finds humor in emotionally torturing me with its obstacles. Every morning when I wake up, I feel like through some randomized series of events, I will ultimately succumb to a brain aneurism and fall over dead in my bathroom floor as a result of sleepless nights contemplating my endless number of failed relationships and lack of self-worth.

Although this notion in essence seems borderline irrational, it has granted me insight on how to approach life’s raw absurdities.

One particular circumstance that has led to my absence of faith in the human element is the miscommunication that occurs all too often between individuals. I feel as if the people I converse with I either have nothing in common with, so I express disinterest in meeting them, or I find some miniscule trait of theirs reflecting my own personality that I can instill some lasting impression of myself to validate my identity.

What has me consistently praying that by some divine intervention lightning will strike me indoors is the premise that communication has become utterly useless as a result of human beings turning in on themselves when forced to interact with one another.

It was not until I was 12 that I finally began to surmise the depressing conclusion that humanity as a whole has become completely inept regarding social interaction.

At 12 years of age after triumphing over a 16-inch hoagie in the shopping plaza of my horrid hometown, I went to the restroom to relieve myself. Upon closing the doors to the stall and sitting on the commode, a man quickly joined my company. Mortified at the possibility I would be rude if I did not interact with him, I began to speak to the man in the other stall. His blatant refusal to answer my generic “how are you?” spiked my frustration at his silence, and inevitably provoked retaliation with my own brand of vocalized rudeness. I remained indignant even after he fled out of the facilities with great urgency.

Maryville College campus is no different. The all-pervading passive-aggressive nature that seems to personify our student body continues to destroy my hope of anyone on this godforsaken earth possessing a suitable capacity for social interaction.

Be it an individual projecting silent hostility towards myself with wayward looks and sneers, or the group of cutesy athletes that confine themselves to their excuse for a social niche due to their implied commonality, I constantly find myself beating my head against a wall of ghost speakers that lack the courage for social interaction for fear they will be faced with confrontation.

And who the hell wants that?

This social ordeal has me up against the ropes when trying to restore the art of simple conversation to its rightful status. Nevertheless, the reason that I will ultimately fail in attempting to alter this degeneration of interaction and communication is simply for the fact that I find great amusement in evoking “rises” out of people. I will still return the sneers with my own smile and greeting; I will resurrect confrontation from its lonely grave and throw it in the face of anyone who is put off by my assertive nature.

While there are days that I secretly hope that I will be liberated from dealing with anyone in the world for all eternity, my heart will continue to beat simply for the fact that I love it when people glare at me, for it gives me a reason to go up to them and say, “Hi. My name is Kegan Rinard. What’s yours?”

Social interaction has not been buried yet.

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