Don’t Ask

I don’t ask for anything. Or at least not much. I won’t even ask you to pass the salt. I’ll get up from the table, walk over there, and get it myself.

Why bother you? You’re eating, too.

Some people thing I’m independent. Others think, what wrong with that guy?

The truth is, I feel there may be something wrong me. But I don’t know what it is or how it happened. But, being human, I can’t just let a mystery sit there. I have to know. And if I can’t know, I need to invent an explanation. I need something to hang onto.

“Mark, would you go down to the basement and get me my drill?” Dad asked.

I flipped on the light and ran down into the basement. Where the hell is that drill? And dad reached past the basement door and—absentmindedly, I think—flipped off the light. But how could he forget so quickly? It had been only seconds ago that he asked me to run downstairs into the basement.

I wasn’t surprised, but this pushed me past the point of no return. Why bother? Why try to get through to people? I’d been invisible before to many people. But if I couldn’t even register to my own father as existing, why bother with people? Why ask—for anything, ever? No matter how trivial or routine?

People do what they do. Maybe it’s a choice, maybe it’s an instinct, maybe it’s a manipulation by advertisers or politicians. Doesn’t matter. What matter is what you—or in my case, I—do.

And I go it alone. That gives me a sense of agency, of control. Love, work, even leisure…whatever. Others can do what they want about these things. I’ll do mine.

What am I planning now? Don’t ask.