1) I am awestruck when I meet a new person. I babble to overcompensate for the feelings of respect I have for this person who is alive, like me, and who lives a life, like me. 2) I like people! 3) Then something happens. The more I speak to the person I have met who is brilliant, the more I start to realise how profoundly not brilliant they are. How ordinary. How like me. 4) All those wonderful words they used when we first me, like “hello” and “pleased to meet you,” now seem pathetic. This new person will have to fight to earn my respect. 5) No one works hard to earn respect unless there’s money involved. 6) So I dry up in conversation. My childlike enthusiasm to make a new lifelong friend dissipates. 7) People don’t want new friends as adults unless they can give them things. Like money, power or IKEA products. 8) So I fall silent, feeding my interlocutor lines from time to time, looking at my watch. 9) What a disappointment! How dare this person be ordinary? Why wasn’t this person ecstatic to meet me? 10) This is one reason for my misanthropy—I come into every new interaction with enthusiasm. I listen. I am attentive. I am committed to giving this person ears to air their grievances and do their usual speaking thing. 11) Usually, the other person isn’t. 12) People need to be more excited to meet me. I’m not saying hopping up and down. But at least laugh at my shit jokes. At least laugh! 13) You bastards!