Sunday, July 17, 2011


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.

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