Nature of the Beast

January 8, 2006

I sat down by my computer knowing that I had to write. It wasn’t a question of what I should write about, but just that I need to sit down and get things out my system.

I think I’m slowly becoming more insane as the days go on. Is it the lack of sunlight in my life – watching the sun rise at 10am and set around 4pm for nearly a month now – or is it because I’m asking too much of the world? Not having sunlight shouldn’t be a huge issue for me since I’ve practically lived inside of a theatre the better part of the past five, six years. I’m a natural night owl, so I should be accustomed to it by now, especially after having spent nine years in the Yukon as a preteen to teenager. But the second option is more likely for me.

Ever since junior high, something clicked in my brain that has made me think that “I don’t belong.” Moving around as a kid is tough, but I still made some good friends in the schools I went to. I had a large number of friends I could hang around with in grade 6 and 7, but then in grade 8 that world fell apart on me. They all disappeared and I was left to rot, wander in the desert of my mind and search for some meaning in my life. But where was I to begin to find it?

The church was probably one of the first things to go. In grade 8 or 9, my parents thought it would be a good idea for me to go through confirmation classes and talk about things with my peers in the church. So I went, and I listened to what people had to say. I knew something was wrong/different when we were asked a question by the minister: write down the five things you value most in life and couldn’t live without. He was looking for broad generalizations, not survival items or precious items. Then we had to share our lists, voluntarilly, and it started with the assumption that we had probably placed “Family” is our number one item. “Friends” was next, and probably God/Religion, money maybe, etc. My list was different. Instead of “Friends,” I put down “Knowledge.” While people were sharing and talking about their lists, I sat hushed staring at my own. Why did I value knowledge and education above other people not blood-related? Why did I believe I could survive with money alone and not friends?

That period of time was quite rough on me. There was a lot of time spent thinking, and I had plenty of it since I was alone so much. My family had moved to another subdivision of the city at the same time. Besides being abandoned by friends, I was now living in a new area of the city with no peers around me. And, of course, not being 16 yet, I couldn’t drive anywhere to escape. I had to rely on my parents for rides everywhere, which was highly annoying – waiting for a ride at school while 85% of the students could walk home wasn’t very thrilling. It shouldn’t be much of a surprise that when I came across the internet at this time, I latched onto it and allowed myself to be sucked in. I don’t know how else to describe the impact the internet had on me back then, except to say it gave me hope.

I was so deeply depressed that I was pondering suicide. I felt like I had nothing to offer to the world any more. I was harassed at school for being quiet (students and teachers- looking at my old reportcards now, it’s full of comments like, “It would be nice if James particpated more in class”) and for being smart. There is the infamous example of me declining to do a speech in front of the class, even after watching people bomb out after 20 seconds. The next year, the same teacher made me go to her office after school and just read something to her privately. I lost a lot of marks for doing those things, but it didn’t matter to me one bit. I was starting to become jaded and apathetic. What good did education have in the world if no one valued it anymore? “We need it to get a job, but we don’t need it for life,” is the lesson I was hearing constantly around me. I played dumb for over a year before I figured things out.

The answer to my problems? Fuck them all.

They were the years of rage and grunge. People shaved half their head and were deemed cool because they didn’t care about people’s opinions. Beautiful girls could get ugly hair dye jobs and still be popular. These people hung out together and became the grunge crowd, quickly separating themselves from the average people and the geeks. I looked at them and all I saw was fakeness. I didn’t even bother to give them the time of day. They could suck my dick for all I cared.

I had my quiet revolution. The grungers would want help with assignments, leaning on me for answers, and I’d telling them no. The geeks wanted to hang out with me because they thought I was like them, but I decided they were just as lame as the grungers with their computer programming skills. I shut out my family from my life and began to erase God out of my life, too. I went for long bike rides and just tortured my body with physical activity. I stayed up late talking with people online, trying to understand life better, and ignored my parents when they advised I should go to bed. I mounted up big enough overusage bills (had to pay by the hour for internet back then) that it eventually got shut off and I had to learn how to live life again.

High school was a mess of a time for me. I couldn’t associate with the cool/jock people (not that I wanted to). The geeks were being too geekish for my liking. That left the lowlifes of that society that hung out in the library at lunch hours. I joined them and played chess daily for that entire year, but I found myself getting bored of that – it’s no fun to play with your opponents make the same moves, same mistakes and are always thinking “now now now” instead of future moves. By playing chess and thinking ahead so much, I started to hone in my skills of obvservation and “the big picture” of life. I started applying it in my classes and got in trouble for a paper I wrote in a Social Studies class. I was researching the similarities between Egyptian and Greek architecture, but no one was writing about it when it’s so plainly obvious that they were influencing each other. I wrote the paper with no quotes or footnotes. I supplied a bibliography, and lots of pictures to make my case. The teacher said it was highly unlikely that I didn’t paraphrase or quote from these sources and docked marks because of it. I was pretty upset and wanted to talk to him about. Are people my age not allowed to have original thoughts and ideas about the world? Well, fuck you! And I set off on a path to make all my assignments harder than they had to be, while at the same time not caring about the marks so much.

That was a complete waste of time, wasn’t it?

I don’t belong in this world. I feel like I was designed to operate in some future lifetime when people remain in bed, attached to global networks through their brains and communicate by thought and dreams, not words and actions. I behave differently compared to the people around me. So many people I come across either love to talk about themselves and don’t bother to ask about other things unless it relates to them; or they don’t want to talk about themselves but expect you to give the world. This has to be the biggest pet peeve in my life and why I drag myself down constantly.

I want people to be as open about their lives as I am with mine. I want them to show equal amounts of interest and curiousity, while adding to my life’s experiences by sharing theirs. I want to be able to ask questions without hearing, “I’m not comfortable answering that.” I want them to ask me about my life and comment on it. I never want to hear a “Cool” in response to something I said, or “Yeah” or “Okay.” Am I that boring and unimportant that you can’t say a sentence in response to something? Or ask how I’m doing when I ask you? It’s no wonder I get so down on myself when no one shows that they care about me.

And Holy Fuck, when did sex become such a taboo thing in our society? I love sex. I love talking about sex and exploring the ideas and actions behind sex. I like getting turned on by it. Why is talking about it so awful to people? Are they ashamed by it? I don’t think it’s that private a matter, or at least it shouldn’t be. Maybe you think I’m a pervert, but I’m not ashamed of my interest in sex. And I’m certainly glad that I’m not going out there trying to take advantage of women to get it. It’s a curiousity to me and I want to know everything about it and how everyone else does it so I can improve my own sex life when I get into bed.

There’s so much rage in me tonight, I can’t even believe it myself. I feel like walking out into the woods and risking my own death in search of a wolf pack. I’ve probably offended at least one person with this, maybe, and I’m going to stop now before I offend the people I really care about (yes, that is possible with me).

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