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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Column: Bottom of the Ocean

Ah shit, you probably read my column title and thought to yourself, “Looks like this Asian guy is gonna talk about how emo he is and how much he likes Taking Back Sunday.”
Actually, now that I think about it, “bottom of the ocean” is a line from an Interpol song. “Stella was a Diver and She Was Always Down.” Either way, I’m not going to talk about my shitty music taste, though if you like WU LYF — we should seriously get some coffee.
Okay, let’s veer away from my thinly veiled attempts at trying to meet like-minded people and talk about the concept of a stone at the bottom of the ocean.
“Who the fuck cares about a stone at the bottom of the ocean?”
It’s a metaphor, bruhbruh.
Whether the stone at the bottom of the ocean is lonely or is in solitude is the monumental question that has baffled scientists, historians, astronomers, dentists and physicists from the dawn of time. Since it was first discovered that stones were at the bottom of the sea, mankind has struggled to determine whether the stones were alone or in solitude.
You may be wondering, what’s the difference?
Loneliness signifies the notion that people don’t really want to be alone. They just have no choice due to extenuating circumstances beyond their control. Like being really awkward. I’m guilty as charged. I mean, look at my fucking columnist picture.
Solitude, on the other hand, presents the idea of a person that enjoys being alone. If you’re wondering why I’m talking about people now instead of stones, it’s because that’s what the metaphor was referring to. Just clearing the fog up there. These people are essentially touted as introverts in today’s modern society.
I fall into the latter category, though there are times when I get a hankering for some human interaction. It’s not like introverts always want to be alone with their little books and imaginations. It’s just that we oftentimes prefer it to alternate forms of enjoyment like going to a rager, large sporting event or really anything involving a lot of people.
And let’s not get it twisted here. People that are lonely and often alone may not necessarily be introverts. They probably want to meet people and be surrounded by smiling faces. They just might be too shy to ever approach people. Uncle Poh is here for you. I love talking to people who don’t like to talk.
Try it sometime. Talk to the kid who always seems really quiet and doesn’t talk to anyone in class. You may be surprised by how much he or she has to say. Everyone just wants someone to listen and interact with them. It’s our inherent nature to crave attention and affection.
In a college setting, there may be unspoken standards that everyone feels like they have to live up to, like going out every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. People feel embarrassed or lame to be home on a Friday night.
I’m starting to embrace the idea that it’s okay to stay in — if that’s what makes you more comfortable. Over the last couple weeks, I realized that I was going out just for the sake of going out. I didn’t want to spend the money. I didn’t particularly want to meet or talk to people. And I found myself wishing that I could have a little time to myself — not for masturbating, you sick fuck. I’m not going to be a hermit forever, but I’m more inclined to take the occasional Saturday off.
So introverts — embrace your introversion. Stay in if you want to. I know some of you already do, and that’s bully for you guys — but for those closet introverts out there who are putting up an extroverted persona to fit in, just drop it. I’m sure your extroverted friends would understand and wouldn’t even mind. Just keep doing you.
I’ll leave you with this quote from literary melancholy man, Charles Bukowski:
“I’ve never been lonely. I’ve been in a room — I’ve felt suicidal. I’ve been depressed. I’ve felt awful — awful beyond all — but I never felt that one other person could enter that room and cure what was bothering me … or that any number of people could enter that room.
In other words, loneliness is something I’ve never been bothered with because I’ve always had this terrible itch for solitude. It’s being at a party, or at a stadium full of people cheering for something, that I might feel loneliness.”
ANDREW POH is sinking like a stone in the sea and he’s burning like a bridge for your body. If you get the reference, contact him at apoh@ucdavis.edu.

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