There’s a line in the original Jurassic Park movie that has always stuck with me. It’s from a scene near the beginning. A cartoon character, Mr. DNA, is explaining to Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum how the park was able to clone the dinosaurs despite not having all of the DNA required to do it.
The DNA is old and “it’s full of holes,” the cartoon explains. “So we used the complete DNA of a frog to fill the holes and complete the codes. And now, we can make a baby dinosaur!”
While technically he’s correct, things obviously don’t go as planned because the tree frog DNA mutates, the clone-dinosaurs start procreating, and then they escape and start killing everybody.
Anyway, this explanation has always stuck with me. It’s the perfect analogy for something I do all the time when I come across a friend who is almost perfect but not completely: I cheat the result.
As a 30-something high functioning sociopath, I am always on the lookout for others like me. Sure, I have lots of great “normal” friends but sometimes I just want to hang out with a likeminded mate: someone who sees the angles, understands the struggle and feels, well, nothing.
I know – the mind reels with understanding. Who isn’t looking for a friend like that?? Well, apparently lots of people because the search can get pretty desperate.
While everyone else is doing all they can to avoid sociopathic friends, I’m doing all I can to find them. I’m like the lost baby in the children’s book, “Are You My Mother?” Except instead of a duckling with a brave heart in search of its mommy, I’m an antisocial outlier with a limited emotional range and penchant for lying looking for a sidekick. In all seriousness, if I were to post a classified ad it would probably look something like this:
Adult sociopath looking for like-minded pal to navigate life. Must be articulate, slow to react and possess an unwavering sense of self. Above average self-awareness, decent sense of humor and interest in Buddhism also a must. Interested parties should detest small talk, avoid social interactions and loathe expressions like “new lease on life.” Need not apply if you own a hoodie printed with the words “good vibes only” or if you have ever invited anyone to a “mixer.”
Believe it or not, these people are hard to find – trust me I’ve looked. That’s why prior to meeting my sociopathic soul mates, I did more than my share of cheating results. After years of being on my own, I would get desperate for a like mind and start slowly lowering the bar.
I would meet someone who came close to fitting the bill, ignore any evidence to the contrary, and then pretend not to notice when he would break down crying about his history with anxiety fifteen minutes after we got to the abandoned asylum.
I think everyone is guilty of this. Everything – even misery – loves company. And when the strength to hold out for perfection is gone, the tree frog kicks in. You meet someone, you like 95 percent of what they’ve got to offer, so you use your own version of frog DNA to fill in the gaps. Then you sit back and hope they don’t kill you.
The point is this: the struggle is real whether you’re a sociopath or not. And while most people are reading online articles on how to avoid sociopaths, I’m writing ones so that they don’t. Because everyone is looking for a buddy. And let’s be honest: that frog DNA didn’t make a bit of difference. Those dinosaurs were going to kill everyone no matter what.