I sometimes had to wonder if I was truly passing for human. For if it was quite so obvious to me that I was not exactly “of the people,” then surely it must be to them. Then again, there I went once more overestimating how seldom people actually appraise others beyond their own little microcosmic bubble. Yet still I did what I could (for someone as misanthropically schizoid as myself) to blend in, which only made me feel as though I was sticking out all the more. A rotten egg in a carton of “lovely” ones (all humans are eggs from the outset, after all, just another point of foulness in the species). Radiating the psychosis of someone not fit for humanity. At least, not the kind of humanity that had been sanctioned by the U.S. government. Wherein being “weird” was only allowed so much license–so much leash–before it was deemed too raw, too disturbing. Worse still, too creepy.
I couldn’t find the happy medium between “cool” psycho and legitimate one. And every day, I knew I was veering more toward the latter category. Inescapably and irrevocably so. The more I tried to don the veneer of normalcy (tantamount to a dog walking on its hind legs), the more insane–ersatz–I felt. Why did I have to pretend to put on a happy face? Or, at best, a face somewhere between half-smile, half-lips pursed. Wandering aimlessly around this planet like the Mobro 4000 to find a place somewhere, I kept wondering how everyone else was doing it. How they were so easily functioning with their strollers and their grocery bags as though existence wasn’t a constant and merciless albatross. How they could laugh with such abandon, and at nothing that took much cognizance or cerebral effort. The sound of laughter made me uneasy, even compelled to cringe.
What right did any of them have, as they sipped their mineral water or fusion tea, to be so damned blithe? This, too, made it a challenge for me to want to be a part of humanity. A sect that operated through their congenital pain by simply ignoring it. Numbing it with the ephemeral joys of purchasing, drinking and drugging. Oh, and eating and fucking–the two core distractions for all classes across the board (the only difference was that the rich could get better quality in both realms). As for me, I had long ago lost my zest for each. Every action contained within these two categories was performative and predictable. I almost wanted to vomit while engaging in either. So I chose to succumb as little as possible to these “compulsory” acts.
Taking them out of the equation seemed to improve life ever so slightly for me, whereas most others would maintain those were the only entities that could enhance it for them. Maybe I should have pursued liturgical studies so as to feign being a woman of the cloth. No one would judge me for any of my so-called self-flagellation then. Yet another reason why identifying with the “average” member of the populous at large was impossible. Why to walk among it made me feel like some sort of spy. Calling unwanted attention to myself as I collected data. None of which was very reassuring.
I could sit for hours alone on a park bench (or with whatever old person felt unwittingly obliged to join me), just checking off all the times I was disgusted with someone. Particularly couples. Most particularly couples with children. Children who laughed the most inanely of all. Tittering and teeheehee-ing in a way that somehow brought a grin of joy to other people’s faces, while it flexed my frowning muscles to their brink. And I knew this overt contempt I had for them was yet another reason I couldn’t “pass” in a crowd (maybe this explained my “inexplicable” empathy for the trans community). That I was emanating the aura of some bastardized female Disney villain–Cruella De Vil and Maleficent came to mind most prominently. Parents and their spawn could smell it on me. The way I could smell complacency and self-satisfaction on them.
It’s not a lie that it’s a lonely road when taking the path less traveled–barely trodden at all by other misanthropes who refused to comply without going into Unabomber territory. Sometimes that’s my biggest fear: that I’ll go off the rails in a manner that ends up getting me imprisoned (though I hear there are no kids there). People like me snap without warning all the time–“it’s always the quiet ones,” as they say. But did these oversimplifying fuckers ever stop to think that maybe the quiet ones can’t get a word in edgewise between the white noise of the breeders? Between all the ooh-ing and ahh-ing that must be delivered over their banal accomplishments? The kind that only takes genitalia–not intelligence–to execute. No, they didn’t.
They think only of themselves and I am forced only to think of them as they overrun every public space like they own the joint (confession: sometimes I pray for a terrorist attack to happen while I’m in one of these public spaces, one that will allow me to see all of them go kabluey before the explosion or shooting or running over by car that subsequently puts me out of my misery as well, one final vision of vindication my sole consolation for lasting this long, and proving that to birth–and be born–is a waste of time when existence is so tenuous).
I suppose you could say that’s why I stay inside as much as possible–summer or not–rocking back and forth to the phantom sound of my madness like some plagued character in an Edgar Allan Poe story. For I must be mad not to want to join their “coven,” isn’t that right? Or, more directly, isn’t it right to be wrong if you surrender to what it means to be a pack animal?