I love The Twilight Zone. I’ve watched it since I was a kid. In one specific episode that always stuck with me, a woman encounters her doppelgänger at a bus station. The doppelgänger more or less makes this woman appear insane, so she’s taken away to the loony bin. The evil double could only survive by eliminating her good counterpart, and once she succeeded, was free to take her double’s place.
As much as I love The Vampire Diaries, in comparison to that, their interpretation is just crap.
Bri and I have what I like to think of as a “doppelganger relationship.” Ok, well, hold on a moment, she already made it clear in her comments what her real name is, so there’s no need to use that pretense anymore. It’s Jenny, or Jen as I so fondly call her. No, we look nothing alike, but we are very similar in many aspects. It seems that, as a result of these specific similarities, we feel the need to eliminate the other’s existence. Not literally. Not on my end, anyway. To me, she’s the evil double that needs to go away, and I’m sure she feels the same way about me. We live on opposite sides of the country, our lives are both going in good directions, and we want nothing to do with each other. Despite all that, somehow we still can’t stand each other.
I suppose that’s not true though, not on my end. Not anymore. Not be able to stand her would require some level of caring, and I just don’t. It comes as no surprise to me that I ended up regretting my post “You Are So Much Less Than the Best of Humanity.” I shouldn’t have posted it. Not because of how certain people (let’s be real, one person) reacted, but because I am so much better than that.
For about a week before I wrote that post, I was furious. One morning, I wasn’t anymore. I don’t know what happened, but I don’t question it. I’d already decided to post something about her blog and had written plenty about it. I had a point, but it was just so irrelevant to anyone except me. I was mad, and it felt necessary to announce that. It required a lot of effort to write, many re-writes and figuring out just what I meant to say. I sure had something to say, but ugh, who cared. I attempted to make it mean more than it actually did, to tie it into the craft of writing, to talk about why I need to write. Ultimately it was just about me being angry. I wanted to talk about it, so I created an excuse.
And yeah, it was really well written, and I meant every word of it. But it was unnecessary, plain and simple. For someone who spent that entire post talking about having something to say, I sure wasn’t saying much.
Faulkner has a great line, to “kill your darlings.” This was not the first time I’ve encountered that necessity; it was just the first time I ignored it. I should have taken my difficulty writing that piece as a warning sign, that it just wasn’t meant to be. That’s what I usually do. If something isn’t flowing, if the words just aren’t right, I erase it and start over. You can’t re-work something that doesn’t work in the first place.
If nothing else, my total lack of interest in the subject in general should have been enough. I didn’t feel like posting what I’d written anymore. I didn’t find it important. But it never crossed my mind just not to. Further, I knew that Jen had read every post, and I knew she’d read that one. I knew she’d be angry, and I found that funny.
My desire to piss her off was greatly outweighed by my newfound absolute apathy toward her.
So why, oh why, did I do it? Honestly, I just don’t know, and it doesn’t really matter, because regardless of the reason, I did.
I have plenty of thoughts, plenty of opinions that I could say in response to the comment that she left. I could slip in some subtle insults about her, just because. Why bother, though? Even entertaining the idea of writing about those things is just tiring. It requires energy that I genuinely have no interest in using for that particular subject.
I will never not have my opinions. I will never not care. But it’s really just so uninteresting to me now. I’m glad to say that general apathy has returned.
Months ago, I wrote that I couldn’t imagine how some women live their entire lives immersed in this sort of drama. It’s exhausting. When I made that post, I put myself in the position of remembering that. I’d unfriended Jen on Facebook and gone months without talking to her. But for some reason, I allowed her to get under my skin when I was finally at a turning point. And thus I perpetuated that exhausting drama, that doppelgänger relationship, just a bit more.
Now I can realize what that is, the unfamiliar feeling I got days after that post. I’m disappointed in myself.
I’m better than that writing. I am better than those blatant insults. I’m better than my anger. I don’t care about explanations or excuses. I’m disappointed that she completely misunderstood my point in favor of being angry, but I don’t really blame her for that.
After all this time, after all those battles and fucking apologies and apathy, I still find myself left with one thing. The sadness. The inexplicable inability to accept that she and I just do not get along. That we cannot accept the other’s presence, even 3,000 miles away. That we can’t even allow some peaceful co-existence in our mutual dislike of each other.
I think that the worst part, the strangest part, is that as much as I don’t like her, I think that I actually kind of do.