For whatever reason, I knew that the other men in the hostel didn’t respect me. They didn’t respect me as a man – or as anything else, for that matter. They didn’t respect me full stop. I say ‘for whatever reason’ but the truth is that I know only too well why they don’t respect me – I just don’t want to talk about it. I get angry when I think people want ask me about it, I get all blustery and shouty, but other people never do want to ask me about it, not really. They don’t care less, they really haven’t the slightest interest. They might only be inadvertently be looking in my direction, for example, and that would set me off. They might not even be looking at me at all. I lose the head then. I get upset. I throw a wobbler. I flip out big time. You can always feel it when people don’t respect you, can’t you? No one actually has to walk up to you and tell you to your face, although of course I’d hate it if they did this too. I’d hate that equally as much. ‘Create your own personal comfort zone!’ breathed the woman’s voice on the advertisement, in tones that were obviously supposed to convey the wonderfully delightful pleasure of having your own custom-made comfort zone to be residing in when things got tough and you needed a bit of a break. From the torture of life. The pain and anguish I felt in listening to her voice was excruciating, obviously. How else was it supposed to make me feel? I wanted to serve a useful function, I wanted to be of service to society, but I just couldn’t because I was a glitch in the system. I was a real glitchy glitch – the type of glitch nobody likes. Obviously I don’t want people to like me for no reason – that would be unrealistic. I want people to respect and like me because I serve a useful function in society but obviously – as a glitch – there was never any question of that. It’s a non-starter. The only useful thing that a glitch in the system can do is to bow out gracefully. The only thing you can helpfully do – as a glitch – is to permanently eliminate yourself from the situation, which is something a glitch can never do. Glitches are always inherently self-serving in their nature – they are self-serving to the detriment of everything and everyone else and this is why ‘serving a useful function’ isn’t really on the cards. Being useful is an out-and-out impossibility for a glitch– the harder you try to be useful the more you screw things up. That’s kind of the way of it. That’s kind of what it means to be a glitch, I’m afraid. Of course, when I say that I want to serve a useful function and help people and all of that, I have to admit that I don’t really know if there is actually any truth in this! Do I really want to help or is this just another part of my glitchy thought process? If I really wanted to serve society and help people and serve a genuinely useful function then what I would have to do is simply leave everyone alone to get on with it without me and my perpetual pernicious interference, as I have already said, and you can be sure that I’m not about to do that! That’s actually the last thing I want to do and so where does that leave me? I find it hard to respect myself when it comes down to it – it’s no wonder that I’m always having such a bad time. What exactly am I suppose to do anyway? I feel like life’s playing a nasty trick on me…



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