"I don't expect everyone here to be a social observer like me, nor do I expect everyone to be self-aware and honest—but I've just been struck by the lack of self-awareness, the consumerism, and the abuse of sex and alcohol that students here expect will bring them 'fun.' I'm not a Puritan by any means, nor a prohibitionist—but I've just been disappointed by the flashy lack of substance in a lot of the people who go here. They may be well-traveled, rich, and diverse, but intellectually not many people seem to think like I do."
That pretty much sums it up, I think. I used to focus on this a lot, to the point where I deliberately isolated myself at times.
Was my assessment realistic? I think so. But was it a problem? Yes.
In the years since, I've learned to just deal with it.
But this is what really made me decide to write the comic—because one day this summer, in an unprompted, unprecedented burst of candor, he expressed his own quiet, raging despair about Ail U. in an almost identical manner.
I marveled, and took comfort from that.
Because I never want to reach a point in my contentment where I forget what I observed in my time here. Here's the truth: Those who are depressed, for better or for worse, often see things for what they are in a way that other people can't. And that insight is precious.
If ever, thoughout the course of this, you wonder why writing it has become so important to me—that's why. Because I think it may finally give me a way to show that I'm not just the odd one out, that my observations meant something and reflected something peculiar to this environment.
Because, on some level, this is redemption. For us both.
And, you know, a kick-ass, needs-to-be-told story.
"People need to know that I bought this. No one even knows that I exist!"
"My juice only flows with the qualities I want when I do as I am 'called' to do. It's a deep and true thing."