Tuesday, April 22, 2008

SS: Earth People

I was surprised by the responses to my post on "the committee." Here I was just trying to come up with a halfway decent metaphor to describe the experience of writer's block, and it looks like I touched a nerve with people, in a good way. As it turns out, most of us have some form of a committee or another, and it certainly is a relief to know I am not alone in this. I wish I knew how to keep my committee at bay, but all I can do is be aware of it when it is most active. I track it closely, learn all its patterns, all its little tricks. I separate it from the rest of my thoughts. Making it into a pathology of sorts -- something I can label and "diagnose" helps me make it feel less personal.

Sometimes I think the worst aspect of my committee is how much it can separate me from other people. Some of its most vocal members are very convincing when it comes to arguing that I am "not like other people" -- and they don't mean this as a compliment. I'm not "bohemian" or "eccentric" or even "cute." I'm strange. Unable to connect two and two in the social matrix. People are staring at me. Laughing at me behind my back. This is what they mean.

Truth be told, there are times when I feel like I'm just reading from a script on "how to be." I think we all do this to some degree, but sometimes I feel like I do it more than others, or in situations where "everyone else" is being genuine. It's like I missed some cue. And I hate myself for it because there is this part of me that thinks if only I could get that cue and feel those genuine feelings I'd be happy. I'd be able to share in some "universal" part of being human and all would be right. I'd be normal.

Well, I'm probably being a bit dramatic. But still, I do sometimes feel like I'm a Martian wandering among the Earth people. You know the Earth people, right? They have this way of being. In fact, it is THE way to be. If you are very perceptive, you can probably catch some of these ways, so as to blend in among them. The trick is to know that you are not what they are. If you are gay, they are straight. If you are fat, they are thin. If you are black, they are --- get my drift? Hello...it's the committee knocking. I almost forgot to lock my door.

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