Why I Stay Away From Everybody

My family isn't the most social unit in the world. Neither of my parents have any friends outside of the house or family, with the exception of their co-workers. Even then it's strictly for professional purposes. My family is a very closed, self-sustaining unit. We've been moved around so much in our lives that the only people who've been concrete were those same five people you see every morning and every night, and all day long around the house and in the car. I'm very close friends with my twin sister, and even my older sister and I get along well. I just see outside people as extraneous.

Moving a lot had to do with this. We moved to fabulous New Jersey when I was 10, and it was the shock of a lifetime. Goddammit, people were terrible here. Especially my fellow schoolmates, who acted as if they lived under the boardwalk and had to scavenge for their food. Everyone, even ten year old kids, were so tough and mean. This scared the innocent midwestern boy I was, and I retreated far, far back into myself. It didn't help that I had to wear glasses (not even nice ones, but cheap plastic ones that are giant on me even today, when I put them on to take a stroll down memory lane), and all of my clothes were bought at the flea market by my father, who has possibly the worst taste in clothes ever.

A large faction in my social isolation had to do with my parents. Neither of them ever socially mingled, in any facet, and both of them in their own way are very private and closed people. That may work when you're forty and have a job in an office and your own car and house, but when you're twelve and move into a town where everyone's known each other since they were born, it's a little rougher. Thanks to the invaluable social tools my parents bestowed on me (the soviet eyewear, the "skort" Taz & Bugs outfit, the social ineptness and midwestern softness) and not understanding what New Jersey is all about (answer: to be the worst possible person you can be), I was slaughtered immediately.

I'd rather not revisit the memory of middle school, as that's a scar that hasn't quite healed yet and will be good fodder for my future psychoanalyst. Needless to say, it was rough going. It didn't help that my parents still dressed me in the worst possible clothes, but sometime in 8th grade they bought me a new pair of glasses, so that alleviated some sort of problem. It was then that I went from being a victim to being a storm. I became a very angry young man, and thanks to a growth spurt, I was a very tall angry young man. Everybody used to pick on me when all I wanted them to do was leave me alone. Now they left me alone, because I could have mopped the floor with them. Not that I would have, as violence isn't in my nature. But they, being shallow morons, couldn't see past size and appearance. So I was left alone. Finally.

Fate works in odd, sick ways sometimes. I was more introverted and angrier than ever by the time I got to high school, just 14 and with long blonde hair and a penchant for rock and roll. I met a girl (READ: The Ladies and Me: A Love/Hate Story for backstory), and she opened me up a little socially. More important, she gave me some much-needed confidence in myself. After being told you're shit for three years by almost everybody in your grade, it's nice to hear from someone that you're not.

I couldn't take people, though. I was starting to reach breakdowns in social situations by the time I was a Junior. I just couldn't handle being around people anymore. I stopped going to school, and by April I had dropped out. I still say fuck every single person that went to my high school, but it doesn't matter to me anymore. I've seen how a lot of them have turned out, and it's fairly sad, ugly, and amusing. I feel vindicated very often to know that almost all of the people that used to make my life so unbearable for no reason other than their own sick amusement now pump my gas or got a girl pregnant or have incurable STD 's or something else from a plethora of twisted tales to choose from.

I'm in college now, and am trying my best not to resent and hate everyone around me. I see how the world is, and how people act, and the ridiculous things they do, and the idiotic things they like, and the unsophisticated way they live. I try to accept it, even if I don't like it. I just won't be a party to such things. I'm hoping people like me - low key, creative, passioniate, intelligent - are hiding out there, just as I'm hiding right now. Maybe we'll find each other one day. Here's to maybes.