It started as your typical shyness, but it grew into something else. My mother isn’t a misanthrope, she’s just shy. Her mother pushed her into socializing, but it never clicked. I’m on the other spectrum. The reason I shy away from people is because I’m easily disappointed by them. Case in point, a local poet writes a book. It gets published. I’ve heard of him through the grape vine. Creative writing professors praise him. Those within my poet circle speak highly of him. By chance, I meet him. We chat a bit. He’s not exactly what I expected. Rather than a down-to-earth sort of fellow, he’s egotistical. Arrogant. He built an entire life of poetry by steal the styles of others. In short, he’s a vampire – sucking off the talents of other writers. He’s poison. A dream snatcher, he built an image of himself based on the ideas of others without the collaboration. Because of my knowledge of his actions, I cannot face my friends anymore. Each time I see them, I want to call him out – have him admit to the public the fraud he is.
It started early on. I was the shy boy in class. I was okay speaking to my peers, showed no problems making friends. I influenced actions in others. But with adults, I always stammered. I grew past that too, until I hit junior high and things started to change.Then, I just began to feel like the outsider. I developed crushes on both boys and girls. I had my dark fantasies when I thought of just pounding in the face of my tormentors. I had a horrible time feeling empathy for others. Never understood what was going through the minds of others – why was it so important to be popular, to be liked? I hid myself in the world I created for myself. A world where the events of books were more pleasant than the world that devoured me daily. Those I called my friends were just accessories that I needed in order to feel somewhat connected. And I continued that way into high school. I didn’t particularly like my friends. The outcast within the outcasts. I enjoyed their company more because they didn’t want to fit in and mimicking their rituals was easier than any other social clique.
And those I did have feelings for wound up hurting, abandoning or downright disappointing me in the end. Girlfriends and crushes were had. Nothing I quite understood. When I actually got down to know the person, their words fell short of my expectations. It’s not that I’m a douche bag or an asshole – though I very much am – it’s that I expected that click of balance. None of them ever made me care enough.
My mother never knew the things I thought, and maybe it was for the best. But on the way to X-mas present opening at my brother’s house, I admitted that sometimes I wondered if I worried her growing up. Unlike my brothers, I was the only son who didn’t like being around people. I chose to be home rather than hanging out with my friends after school. The parties I went to were few and far between and even then, I’d spend an hour or so there before I called her for a ride home. Even now, as an adult, I only talk to Jyg and her, Binx, Erika and Monica every now and then – and mostly just on the Internet.
And it seems that’s how I feel connected with people these days – online. At least the chance for them to disappoint me isn’t high. I forgot where I was going with this post.
- 10 Writing Exercises I Can’t Live Without (michellelocke.wordpress.com)
- Philip French: my life as a stammerer (guardian.co.uk)
- Ten Lesbian & Bisexual Poets To Fall in Love With [Womanly Wordsmiths] (jezebel.com)
- Thought Processing (cityofchapin.wordpress.com)