Sunday, August 23, 2009

That thing we found out in the cornfield...

Y'know, for some reason the "gotta be in a relationship" bug's hit me hard. I'll be fine with it for a while, and then I'll see some young lady who either I didn't have the guts to talk to or who shot me down stuck on some fellow with a beard who seems content and approachable, if dull. It'd be one thing if I felt like an alien who wants to be like everyone else and relate to them, but I don't want that. I want to be whatever it is that I am, and reconciling whatever that is with the social structure of humanity feels nearly impossible. It just seems like any time I got into a relationship before, it was either some fateful crossing engineered by God or a very unfortunate alignment of hormones, aesthetics and availability.

Rationalist thought-modes would be gleeful on the anthropological ideas of group dynamics, with stability and security versus variability and irrational behavior. I have a lot of difficulty with jobs and monetary ambition. I justify it with an anarchist philosophy that I must admit I feel strongly about, but those philosophies definitely came after difficulties with fitting into the given model. I mean, ever since I was 7 I was the kid in the "smartypants motherfucker" program that wouldn't turn in homework. According to that given model, I "wasn't living up to my potential," and I had no clue what to make of it or what to do about it, until hearing the idea that maybe the values expressed in our educational/consumerist/capitalist/industrial system weren't anywhere near my own and that I might not need to care about it.

Unfortunately, I still do. I still find myself terrified of working creatively, and despite my aversion to paperwork and most of the way that modern government really operates, I can't bring myself to live on the rails, join a monastery or find a commune.

I keep going back to my family while I'm writing this. I can sum up my childhood and family life with the following scenario: My first bicycle was just a tad too big for me to pedal comfortably, and the rationale was that I would grow into the bike while learning on it at whatever size I was at the time. It took a tempest on my part to point out that the pedals left my feet as I tried to ride. I received neither comfort nor apology, but instead, "Look! It's a smaller bike! Aren't you excited?" No admittance of damage, no apology for not believing me, and no willingness to communicate on any levels aside from small talk and tantrum. It was so strange. The only phenomenon that I can think to describe it is the very uncomfortable feeling of centripetal force on a roller coaster or train making a turn. I wasn't mad about the bike as much as I was mad that they didn't believe me, they didn't trust me, and they didn't care that I was hurt. I was loved, sure. It wasn't an abusive household (although I to recall times when my dad would hit me, scream at me or elbow me, which would generate years of patricidal fantasies that eventually subsided as I got into adulthood), and I wasn't physically neglected, but I received absolutely no attempts on my parent's part to understand my motivations. During my mom's illness, expressions of affection became thinly-masked calls for death, rage, and blame, and I think that, especially after my father remarried to a very ambitious woman, he just got tired of me, and I completely lack that sense of safety that a lot of other people have with the familial ideal. I watch the other "Boomerang Generation" folks dress and act like a long, terrible joke while trying to formulate the punchline as they go along, and just stumbling into some new idiotic quote or bit of kitsch to keep the damned thing limping along, secure that their parents have their back, confident that they have the support they need to get through whatever they're going through in this period. Much as I feel like their appearances and actions are absolutely ludicrous, I'm envious of the support more than anything else.

I don't want to end this with feeling scared and alone. I have support out there: it's unconventional, it gets a little suffocating sometimes and it has just about the same bank account issues that I do. I suppose that sense of alienation has some very strong fundamental roots, but it's just a sense, not a rule of existence.

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