The pleasure of intellectual worship is almost as acute as physical. Which is why my fanatic nature has always fancied another passion. To find and witness someone you adore in all their aspects is drunkening. Feels like winning the lottery.

Yet what is good for the cash-making machine of the fan industry is not as good for human contact. Buying books and records or scrolling through tumblr gifs doesn’t affect your sense of self (much). It fades, switches, mutates, and passes without any other party being involved. You emerge with a bunch of fan fiction, a couple of self-made videos, and a tee saying “I don’t shave for Sherlock Holmes”. And you’re ok.

Unlike with humans.

The fuck-up creeps upon you unnoticed till the end. The first warning bell is reviewing your wardrobe for the things they might like. Second, absorbing their tastes in music and cinema. The final warning is more of a shot than a bell, and it’s adjusting your beliefs.

The worst thing about all these transitions is that they happen completely naturally and are perceived as your personal development. You’re not “changing”, you’re “growing”, right? You’re shedding the old skin and giving up you childish notions.

But the reality is that dissolving in people comes to no good (duh). Stay for too long and you become so transparent the wind could blow right through you. Your point of gravity is external, your image of self is but a reflection. And to top it — you are happy.

Your weakening, dragging, humiliating echo of your true self is blindly happy as a just-shot junkie in a pissed hotel room. You flourish in your decay, feasting on the remnants of your dignity. You are hardly scared, as addicts do not fear the dose but yearn for it. You are happy.

Tales from the dawn of times encourage you in madness. The whole of culture utters “It’s ok.” You cling, you rise, you triumph with a frantic call: “I’ve found what all of you are looking for. Here is it, world, behold!”

And suddenly your pedestal goes empty. The person steps away, half bored- half frightened by the rush. You shake in disbelief, the blinders rising slowly, you see the cardboard walls or your imaginary fort fold down. You stand there in the snowstorm in your night dress, in shy and futile search for warmth. None to be found, you curl up on the floor and try to shut the hole in your chest from the wind.

“It was all worth it” you repeat nursing its ragged edges “I’d do it all again.”

The junkie curse is one we won’t give up: the high’s so good you peasants only dream of. Well worth the fall, a hundred times worth all the broken bones.

I’m not the losing party, as it seems.

’Cause I have loved.

And you have merely liked.

Content designer at Shopify