Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Evolution of Indifference

In 1998 I began to write an autobiography. Its title is the title of this blog post. I got through three chapters that April and never picked it back up. For some odd reason, I got to thinking about it again recently and thought that maybe this blog might be a good place to try it out. I figure that if you comment and tell me it's boring as fuck and to get back to the hysteria, then my having abandoned it was the right decision. If, however, I get feedback that I should continue, I'll be at a crossroads. I will have to seriously confront the reality that, much like most things in my life, I didn't follow through and should have. So, for your viewing pleasure - here's the first chapter:

***Chapter 1: Tears of Difference***

I was an emotional wreck. I'm not talking about any particular day, here -- I mean as a child, and in general. The most inconsequential things made me cry. It didn't help being the epitome of everything any malicious 5th grader could conjure up to tease some less fortunate classmate about. See, I was always Mr. Less Fortunate. Always. Mr. shortest, Mr. youngest, Mr. nerd, Mr. quiet, Mr. sissy ... You know, Mr. Less Fortunate.

My parents' divorce was just another one of those things that happened external to me. I too soon in life learned not to give a fuck about things that did not directly affect my feelings. You see, I was driven by my feelings. They were at the forefront of every one of my efforts. Simply put: I did what I *felt* like doing. So, usually, I cried.

You'd be surprised at how much attention you get as a child if you cry, especially if you do it often. What an outpouring. But the reality behind the issue that made me cry made that incessant outpouring fruitless. Adults everywhere tried to help me through each and every little thing that scarred me; no one knew that each and every time, those things were fictitious. I made them all up. How do you tell mom or dad that your everyday issue, the thing that always makes you cry is the complete and thorough understanding that you're different than everyone else? Different than them. Different than your brother. Different than your friends. Different than everything on TV. Different. Just different. How?

You don't, that's how. You bottle it all up in this secret chamber within you, a chamber that, for me, sat where my adam's apple was to be. I collected it all, bore it all, and it's only release was a good long hard cry. Anywhere. Because it didnt matter. If I was at the dinner table and was about to implode? Tears. If I was hauling my books to school and halfway through my walk that chamber within me was about to bust? Tears. Nothing mattered. Nothing. Tears. Tears. More Tears. They ran down my face with the warmth of ice and dripped off my chin, wasted. But I learned that crying was OH so therapeutic.

Even if it *was* cold.

I needed everything to be perfect, predictable. If anything was out of place, it was another reason to cry. I remember one day I sat on a stool in my mother's kitchen while my father dabbled with my hair (For a while, he was convinced he was the world's best barber). It was a nice, predictable Sunday visit from Daddy; he cut my hair. When he was done, I looked in the mirror only to find that it was wrong. It was too short, I looked like a fool, my face looked big, the kids would tease me, it wasn't what I wanted, it wasn't what I had imagined, and my mind NasCar raced through all the possible trials I would suffer as a consequence ... instant tears.

I took a bath, because it was normal to do so after a haircut, right? One problem. I sat in the tub to cry with the shower on, the drain wide open. The tub didn't fill. I let warm water pelt my face to offset the cold tears my cheeks were all too familiar with. It must have been an odd sounding shower; dad found me.

More Tears.



Yes, the family was convinced: the hysterical kid is crying because he doesn't like his haircut. They all told me how wonderful it looked, how much the girls would flock to me, and I had to force myself to bottle everything back up into that massive ball of bottled up fear that was eventually to choke me -- the *girls*?!? If I was to convince them it was the haircut, the accolades should suffice, I figured. But it wasn't the hair. I was different. I was DIFFERENT. Different than my own family. So different I couldn't tell them. So different I refused to be me. I simply refused to be me. No one knew who I was, and soon I was going to find out that my very own childhood facades would make even me forget who I was.

What a paradox.

Those facades defined me, proved to get me through each of my childhood days, and were my way of extracting great joys out of life.

Yet, simultaneously, those facades washed me of identity, proved to prevent me from growing up, and would eventually become a great source of misery for me.



Wonder Man said...

interesting, and a little sad

JACK said...

Well, we're not off to a very good start there, I suppose. Sad, but well written? or something? maybe?

Super Dave Van Buren said...

It was well written. I'm interested in reading more. Truth is if you were in my family we would have told you to "Man up" and stop crying about everything. Harsh? yeah and I'm sure it would not have done anything to help but that's how my family is.

JACK said...

Superdave - Knowing me in person, you really wouldn't know that that's how I was when I was a kid - but it's true. And I'm not saying my family didn't say the same shit to me - my cousin told his dog to attack me once. Cousins totally suck. I think I rather them just call me pretty.

The Jaded NYer said...

pero WTF? why you not writing about the DMV shit?

J/K!!! lol

I believe I already gave you feedback last year on this, and if you didn't take notes too bad!


143 said...

Wow Jack, its crazy however i think you and I played with dolls plenty LOL thank god for us spending so much time together especially that i had no GI Joes only Janes LOL
Any way wats up wit "Cousins Suck"
it made me cry!!!!

143 said...

WOw im so sorry well Thank god we had each other hey think about it i had no GI Joes only GI Janes "never gonna let you go"LOL
and about "Cousins suck" im hurt :( :(

JACK said...

what do you mean when I said cousins suck? I don't see where I said that - but if I did, you my sister more than my cousin. You never count in that.