I’m not a very sociable person. Although I’ve never been diagnosed with any kind of problem, I find I reach the end of my social tether quickly. After socializing for some time, especially with casual acquaintances, I can feel sections of my brain shutting down: I can’t make conversation, or recognize faces. Only after being entirely on my own for perhaps a day can I be affable again.
Yet if you kept track of who pushes on, or even sometimes organizes, social events at work then you’d assume I craved the company of others. If you looked at the events I organize every two months, at the other meetings I go to almost every month, and at my other suggestions for other opportunities to socialize with strangers at huge, awkward gatherings, you’d assume I was Mister Party Animal.
When confronted with this strange dichotomy, you might then ask me what the buggering hell I’m playing at, and why on earth I bother. And I would probably shrug, smile a little grimly like the hard-bitten protagonist of a Jack Higgins novel, and say: these seem like things which someone should do, yet sometimes nobody else will. Sometimes even a painting you don’t particularly like deserves to be straightened on the wall.
(Entirely unrelated – but just like K. has said of herself – if you counted the number of times I’ve ended up seeing performance poetry, you might think I actually liked it.)