A Character Sketch I Have No Right to Make

I have a classmate who troubles me. It’s not that he’s annoying, at least particularly to me. He’s a very nice person, a good friend, morally upright, respects his elders, follows the rules, and blows classes like nobody’s business. In fact, he’s on the list of people I need to kill, which is actually quite a privilege, because I usually only want to kill sharp-brained, super talented, super fantastic people, to make room for the rest of us mediocre ones to finally ascend to excellence. I don’t really have a problem with the person he is. What distresses me, however, is how empty he feels – not to himself, but to me.

You can probably tell that I’m drawing ideas from Puppets or I’m reiterating ideas I expressed in the story. How is one so perfect, so widely acclaimed, and yet, so empty personality-wise? He doesn’t see himself the way I see him, though. He thinks he’s fine. And he probably is; it’s just that I don’t see enough individuality. While I admit that it’s not my place to worry about how other people live their lives, I can’t seem to help being vaguely upset. (Now that I’ve admitted that everything I’m writing now is irrational and irrelevant, there is really no need for you to comment/message me about it. Please and thank you.) I don’t know what he does (if ever he does anything) when he’s not doing stuff that he’s “supposed” to be doing. He’s always on top of his deadlines, and I wonder if all of his favourite pastimes are academic. Passively, he probably watches series and listens to music, but more often than not, he seems to agree with what other people say about them, hype the parts that other people are hyping, and engage in jokes that everyone else seems to think are funny. It’s not that these are bad things. I just think they make him even more of a cookie-cutter, everyone-likes-this-guy-because-he’s-perfect kind of person.

He’s not a one-sided character, solely concerned with academics. He engages in a lot of extra-curricular activities as well. But in all that he does, I feel like I’m not seeing passion; the kind of passion that leads you to love; the kind of passion you’d break rules for; the kind of passion that will give you an identifiable personality. Currently, I can only describe him with generic words, like “smart” and “nice.” But never have I ever seen a fire (not of anger, but of passion) ignite in him. And see, to support my argument, I can’t ever imagine someone disapproving of any of his behaviour. Except me. I could divert this whole thought process into a discussion about why I’m so upset about someone following rules. But I won’t, mostly because I don’t know the answer.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about living purposefully. And I think too many people are losing the power to discern between doing something because you love it and just…doing it. I don’t know how to live like that. I’m one of those emotive creatures who can’t live like responsible robots, because I’d be in emotional misery.

-Akotowaa

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