Friday, July 17, 2009
The problem with dropping back into the world after dropping out is that you will never be quite the same. It changes you, making you a bit less able to navigate the so-called "real life." Think about the characters we know of the sort--von Munchausen, Crusoe, Gulliver...the message is pretty clear. Yes, of course we want to hear all about your fabulous tales, but you must be some sort of freak. Yeah. It marks you, if only with some sort of invisible, anachronistic rune.
Recluses are also weird in the public conception. Salinger, Hughes, the late great M.J. There's no doubt that nothing says "not like us..." like keeping your own company and much of that is just being out of touch.
I never wanted to be like any of these people, yet, here I am. I was trying to explain to teh therapist yesterday about how "sensitive" I was as a child and how the only relief I had from the anxiety of socialization was the moments I could steal by myself. (Luckily, this was not so difficult.) How I seem to have sought that peace for myself as an adult and how it seems now, ultimately, to be a source of regret. But at the same time, it was inevitable, a foregone conclusion. Fate.
They drug children such as I was now. Rightly so, I suppose. But I have to wonder if it is a bit like helping a chick out of an egg? Chicks like that fail to thrive and usually die. I wouldn't be who I am without that struggle. But at the same time, I know it would have been an unspeakable cruelty to allow me to founder in that emotional misery had there been some other choice. I was so lucky to be born to the mother I had--she was such a fierce protector of her wounded chick.
Anyway, what brings this ramble to the surface is pretty funny. Friend Patti and I went to K-town the other day to meet with a group of like-minded women at a local coffee shop. Friend Patti doesn't carry my stigmata since she is not here by choice exactly and fights the good fight to keep up with the outside world and its strange magicks.
We had a good time and it was the first time in years I'd been outside in a social situation in ages. And yes, I speak of Cocke County as though it were some hinterland shrouded in mist because that's exactly what it fucking is. Mist shrouded hinterlands-R-us.
Toward the end of the evening, we are listening to an attractive 20-something bemoan her attempts to connect with the object of her affection. It's a familiar tale, told again and again from caveman days. I love you so much I can't bear to talk to you and anything I say is going to be wrong anyway so maybe I shouldn't talk to you at all--whaddayou all think? Huh? Huh? Puhleeze??
Love sucks. Don't let anyone tell you different.
This discussion swirled around exactly what the perfect text message to send might be. So I say, "Hey. Look. What would be wrong with just calling her up and saying, 'Hey, would you be up for dinner tonight?'"
Everyone looks at me like I just intoned, "Yea verily, what say you to inscribing in cuneiform your sentiments on yon clay tablet and dedicating it to her honor with the blood of a virgin sheep?"
Someone rescued me by breaking the stunned gaze and saying, "Yeah, what's wrong with that?"
I haven't had a cell phone in seven years and apparently missed the point in polite society where a text message could bear the considerable weight and import of a heart, besotted, tortured or broken.
Old school, baby. It's how I roll.