The other day my coworker Amy was describing a Stephanie Meyer book (yes the Twilight broad) in which aliens take over the earth but they look and sound and act exactly like humans. Not exactly groundbreaking stuff--no points for creativity--but I also couldn't help myself from thinking, "who hasn't felt like an alien that looks and sounds like a human?" I mean, I certainly have. Sometimes I feel like I'm studying human interaction from a distance. Sort of like I'm a peeping Tom on the whole of humanity. Because there are certain things about the human condition I want to grasp and understand and hold and touch--and I just don't get it. It's like that exercise I did in sociology class where an article described habits of a primitive tribe of people and you slowly realize it's Americans--when you look from a distance you can see how absurd things actually are. Sometimes, I feel like I'm looking through my whole life from a distance. The fact that people get out of bed in the morning, brush their teeth, jump into cars, cling desperately to coffee and then sit at a desk for 8 hours seems utterly absurd to me. I know I should do it too, without question, but I can't stop seeing it from all angles.
I am an intense voyeur. I love Facebook stalking. I love seeing how normal people are. I thumb through picture after picture of pastel weddings, and baby births, and fourth of July cookouts and Red's games--and I can't understand why I want that life and simultaneously know I don't have it in me. I can't get out from behind the camera lens and actually live that normal life. And I'm way too normal to actually live like an artist or a musician or a poet. I can't be existential and also love Keeping up with Kardashians.
So this feeling of being a voyeur instead of a participant in my life lends itself to weird idiosyncrasies. For one thing, I like to "pretend" to be different versions of myself. The other day I felt physically bored of being Annie. I was so tired of being inside my own skin I could almost feel it itching. Have you ever felt that way? Like a little girl playing dress up I tried on weird articles of clothing in the back crevices of my closet that I never wear, did my hair messy and wild, smeared too much eyeliner on, and didn't wear a bra. I decided I was a "hipster" for the night. It was like being on stage, I wasn't uncomfortable wearing what I was wearing, because it wasn't me, it was a character of my own creation who would wear those clothes, and who would know better than to say things like "doing pot". I felt reckless and free. Again, I'm a pod person who has to don disguises in order to move around earth undetected.
I also like to eavesdrop on people's conversations or people watch. I make up the lives of people on the street in my head, and they're always better than mine. That lady doesn't come home from work to a messy apartment, fall into bed with her clothes still on, and eat Triscuits for dinner because she's too lazy to cook. No, this woman, I imagine, shops at Whole Foods and buys things like quinoa and Lamb burgers with gruyere cheese and goes to Bora Bora with her husband, who is a painter and they throw ironic theme parties, like " Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing Nite" on the weekends. Or that guy with the suspenders must be a real man's man: corner office, tons of old frat buddies, frequent golfer at the country club, and he always has an off-color joke ready at the appropriate moment. He never would make a joke about Rice cakes being on the "Auschwitz diet" in front of a Jewish coworker (to his credit, he forgot she was Jewish because she's black and a woman and usually people aren't allotted so many minorities).
I feel like so many things prevent me from coming out of my pod. I wish I could turn off my mind. I wish I could be happy with a corporate job and 2 kids and a collie. I wish I didn't think Football was homo-erotic and gay. I wish I would write blogs about making lattice crusts for apple pie and being mad at my boyfriend for not putting down the toilet seat, instead of writing about dick jokes things I make at work and being mad at my boyfriend because he doesn't think the meth PSA's are as funny as I do. I wish I didn't think emo music was homo-erotic and gay. I wish I wanted to go on a spiritual journey to India, instead of imagining how much that whole country must just smell like shit. I wish I didn't think I'd look like a lesbian with a pixie cut. I wish I didn't think at their core, hippies might just be fucking weird. So, I see these certain varieties of human, but I can't really fit in with them. I'm on the outside looking in.