In preschool we were taught to share with others, to share our various toys, to share our extensive experiences on our pirate ships or in our castles, each one of us a prince or princess, sharing our royalty. I enjoyed those days; everyone was happy to have everyone in the kingdom, discussing various things to add to the realm: which pillows made up the castle walls, and which stuffed animals were to be the royal pets.
Things took a turn.
In elementary school we were told that we couldn’t have gum unless we had enough to share with the whole class. No one ever had enough to share, nor do I think that they would have wanted to. In the short years between preschool and now, we learned that we could possess things of our own, and that, often, we would need to protect them. Never would the battles over simple things be more fierce.
Things get less simple.
From high school to college to when we are fit young adults, we do want to share, so, so much. It could be that we are more generous here; but it is more likely that we just crave desperately for people to know us. We each share a part of ourselves: some our favorite books, our favorite movies, t.v., music, so often, and to such an extent that it’s a miracle any of us retain our privacy. But we aren’t open. Oh yes we share, but we do not receive a sharing, from those as desperate as we. Are we so afraid of losing ourselves in this effort to push our knowledge, to push ourselves?
I can’t say I’m different now. I’m not. I try to listen and to receive these gifts, so hard, and I try, want, to be interested. But it’s mirrored back to me in the glassy glaze of the eyes, and in the quick change of or diversion from the subject. Sometimes it’s not even that, sometimes they give me weird looks, as if I am alien. Once in a while someone will scream and run away from me. I don’t get it, everyone is sharing a piece of themselves, expecting me to accept their little gifts, but when I give them a lock of hair, or a freshly pulled tooth, or once a bloody ventricle from my heart for the one I crushed on, they bolt.
How rude and unkind they are, that they don’t accept my shared gifts, when I try so hard for them.
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:
This started out as a personal social commentary and ended up a twisted, semi-horror-like piece. And I love it.