Zoe Siegel writes about the personal struggle of acclimating to different people.
My co-worker bugs me. Not intentionally, at least as far as I know. But he chews loudly. He slurps soup. He smacks his lips. He came in one day, mostly recovered from sort of throat infection, and every exhaled breath sounded like a small, aggravated sigh. Every. Breath. Not to be confused with his huffy, aggravated sighs. Those are intentional. I’ve learned not to ask what’s wrong, because once he starts talking, he doesn’t stop. Most of the time, when he tries to talk to me, I pretend that I can’t hear him over the music I’m playing from my headphones. Usually there’s no music playing. Sometimes I block out his existence with loud music, but without silence, I can’t focus. Even though these irritants make my brain feel like it’s crumpling in on itself and my eyes cross, I say nothing.Read More