Under Different Circumstances

Matt Glm

I took a two hour nap after work yesterday. I’m going to rank it as the third worst decision I’ve made in the last 24 hours—followed by forgetting that the dryer on the left in my building is still broken and not being patient enough to wait for my sheets to dry completely before putting them back on my bed, and going another day without scheduling a dentist appointment.

My friend was being overly nice to me last night and texted: “I can come up with plenty of reasons why anyone would and should be interested in you”—which I’m glad she sent over text because if she had said it out loud and in person to me, I probably would’ve laughed. I also didn’t ask for any specifics because when people compliment me I feel like I want to die and I start rattling off counterarguments.

My mom once told me this is my worst quality—which is funny because only seconds before saying this she had been describing something she loved about me and it weirdly brings me comfort that someone can know me so well that they can easily switch from being complimentary to being critical of me—and I felt more at ease with her telling me what my worst quality was (objectively, however, this is not my worst quality).

It reminds me of how in writing workshops I would lose my shit if my partner didn’t have any major feedback to give me. I hate the passive: “It was good.” Like, I at least know that I always use too many commas.

Anyway, I sort of pretended I didn’t see that one text—I treated the compliment like a typo and ignored it, even though I wanted to correct her.

I started thinking about my decisions and timing—mostly because I was kicking myself for taking a nap at 7:30pm on a Monday night—and it made me think about how if we had met at a different time in our lives and if I hadn’t made the decision to immediately crash my path into yours just because I wanted to and if I had made the decision to be softer and gentler (and maybe at a different time in my life I was softer and gentler or maybe in the future I will be softer and gentler) and if you had been happier and if I had been less restless—then maybe the plenty of reasons why anyone would and should be interested in me would’ve applied.

I started thinking about how you met her instead and it seemed to be at the right place and the right time and how you saw and understood and could list the plenty of reasons why anyone would and should be interested in her. And I think about how she smiles without her teeth in all of her pictures and you used to make fun of me for how loud my laugh is, which just shows how fundamentally different the reasons for why anyone would and should be interested in either of us are.

But under different circumstances, maybe we wouldn’t have crossed paths or even met each other. And my friend wouldn’t have to text me after my two hour nap on a Monday night about the reasons why anyone would and should be interested in me.

But then what would I write about? Thought Catalog Logo Mark


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