Monday, June 25, 2012

Living in Alien-Nation

Guest post at The Unlost today: Living in Alien Nation: The Disconnection of The Masses:

What are you hiding?

RIGHT NOW, in this moment, what are you shoving down inside that familiar little lockbox that no one else gets the key to?

Who are you keeping “out there,” a comfortable arm’s length away? Who’s got YOU at a safe distance, just beyond the tips of their fingers?

And I bet there’s someone you’re faking it for, too (well, not THAT kind of faking). But yeah, I’d wager there’s somebody you’re being sickeningly nice to, and it makes you want to gag. And someone you act tough around, because they sure as hell aren’t going to see you vulnerable. You probably spend half your waking hours covering up how you actually feel, speaking words that bear no resemblance to what you really think.

And so, if I don’t really know who YOU are, and you don’t get to know who I am, you might as well be a friggin’ alien to me. We’re a whole nation of aliens, covering it all up, putting on the act for each other even whilst despising it.

It’s not really that I feel compelled to reveal my deepest, darkest secrets to everyone, but moreso the relentless pressure to hide them in favor of discussing things like The Bachelorette’s choice of goobers. Never do I feel quite so alienated as after I’ve been out with friends.

I have just now come from a party where I was its life and soul; witticisms streamed from my lips, everyone laughed and admired me, but I went away— yes, the dash should be as long as the radius of the earth’s orbit ——————————— and wanted to shoot myself.
– The Journals of Søren Kierkegaard, 1836

If that quote hits you at ALL, you understand what I’m getting at. We go out and live it up with our friends, our smiles the very picture of connectedness, and yet we couldn’t be farther away from each other. We get back in our cars to drive home and, sh*t! There it is again, the utter alone-ness, the isolation that was supposed to have dissolved in the cocoon of camaraderie.

We feel unseen, and therefore unknown. We wanted so much more, and got so much less. We probably wouldn’t know how to construct a different experience if we tried, because the real, genuine us is buried too far beneath the appearances we must keep up.
We are the generation with 742 Facebook friends, 350 Twitter followers, 4 people who may or may not respond to an e-mail, 2 friends we grudgingly phone once in a while….and not even 1 damn person we’d dial at 3am when we’re on the bathroom floor asking the empty air why we feel so alone, so terrified, so lost.
Therese described this insane asylum we live in “where we all feel as if we’re the only ones struggling, as if we’re the only ones living a silent lie and plastering on a fake smile for the world to see,” and I can’t think of a more accurate description for it.

It wouldn’t be such a big deal if we were just hiding the petty stuff. But the truth is, we’re hiding despair. And fear. “And it’s killing us all.”

Sounds like an exaggeration…but it’s not. People die of alienation. I almost did.

So, start by being more real than you were yesterday. Keep up with what’s really going on with your friends, instead of the Kardashians. Quit telling everyone you’re fine, and start telling them you can’t fake it anymore. Maybe they can’t, either.

“Tell your truth. You never know who you’ll set free.”

Check out these follow-up posts: "My Representative"
& "AlienNation, Part 2: Breaking the Habit of YOU."

Have your own story?  E-mail me: downfromtheledge at yahoo dot com

Friday, June 1, 2012

Trail of Thoughts

A 60 year-old man with a thick gray mustache skateboarded by me on the trail this afternoon.

I thought to myself that this was more bizarre than the ferret I saw on the trail yesterday, which turned out to be a mink.

Then I realized that I was walking my cat, so who the f*ck am I to judge an elderly skateboarder.

Then I contemplated how walking my cat was more acceptable when I lived in the city whose motto is, “Keep Austin weird.”

Then I thought about how there’s cool-weird and there’s weird-weird, and pretended not to know which category catwalking would fall into.

Then I remembered telling my best friend in Austin that I was going to start a “PussyWalkers” Meetup group and join together with fellow freaks who push their pussies around.

Then I recalled actually starting an American Idol Meetup group at Mangia Pizza in downtown Austin and having only my 2 friends and one plump old lady named Turtle show up.

Then I recollected how this Meetup group led to me being interviewed by Nic Ciccone of Fox News Austin.

Then I cringed at what a mega-dork I was (am) and vowed to never appear on camera again. 

Then I asked myself why I continually do super-nerdish things despite knowing that they’re uncool.

Then I wondered if I would have more friends if I didn’t walk my cat.

Then I remembered that my friends still sucked even when I didn’t have a cat to walk.

Then I remembered that I got a cat because some new-agey chiropractor lady put colored sunglasses on me and told me that if I was lonely I should get a kitten.

Then I recalled thinking that this was the most expensive retarded advice anyone could give an abandoned unemployed suicidal person.

Then I realized that my pussy is still here with me, and not one person from the past 4-odd years of my life is still around.

Then I decided that I should hate that rich chiro bitch a little less. 

Then I wondered why I spent 40 minutes straining my eyes, unable to see sh*t on this laptop outside just so I could sit on my new chaise lounge. 

Then I told someone off in a really catty way and wondered if that made me a pussy. 

Then I decided that my cat is the only egotistical pussy I have to accept dealing with.

And then I decided this would be my last post written at a fourth-grade level.