"Sunset" © Paul Rysz, 2013. CC BY 2.0.
Sunset” © Paul Rysz, 2013. CC BY 2.0.
As teenagers we knit ourselves tight. A collection of creatures people on the outside considered crass. Ruthless. At the time, that’s what made it validating. If they hate everyone, but they like me, I must have something special. If they are malevolent, but cordial to me, I must be a stellar human being.

It took me years to realize people are the same to everybody. The old first date adage of, “Pay attention to how he treats the waiter, not how he treats you,” is true. It’s rare that you are seeing the real person and everyone else is seeing a front. You are not the exception to the rule. No matter what part of the snake you’re holding, the teeth find a way to come back and bite you. Continue reading →