I'll come up with something in a minute.

Hiding The Light Under a Bushel.

Six months ago, I was at Nino Salvagio, which is a local grocery store. Kind of a highish end fruit and international market, you know the sort of place. It’s not really important, but you need to understand that it’s not a corporate place, it’s local. Now I was getting a few things and I saw… her.

She was beautiful, even though there were several things she had going on that aren’t to my tastes. Dreadlocks always look weird to me on blonde girls. Almost… contrived? She had gauges in her ears, which is fine, but not something I’ve ever been fond of. There were scars on her arm, a remnant no doubt of an earlier cutting habit. A few bad tattoos and some misbegotten make-up, and a sullen slouch completed the look. And through all that, she was beautiful. Jaw dropping, heart aching, mind ceasing, utter beauty. The sort of beauty you’d talk about until she became some kind of legend, and when people saw her they’d say “Okay, so one time reality has it over legend.”

Through what seemed to be a considerable amount of effort, she had tried her best to negate what the dvergar that assembled people that day gave her, and all that came to was that she was stunning. Not in a Venus in Blue Jeans kind of way, but in a “Why did you bother fighting it?” kind of way. There was nothing short of going at her face with a straight razor and a hammer that would do anything to hide the perfection of her features. And I’m guessing she hated every moment of it.

I didn’t talk to her about it, of course I didn’t. People say that sometimes “So I talked to her.” But no, they usually didn’t. If they did, they didn’t get an honest answer anyway. She wasn’t going to talk to someone nearly twice her age about her life choices. Had I asked, I would have gotten a few non-committal answers and she would have run to her phone and tweeted “OMG some gross old man just tried to hit on me, or shame me about my tats I don’t know #fuckoffoldman” Because that’s how these interactions really go, I know. I have had to give nosey fuckers non-answers when they try to ask me questions that they have no right to.

I understand, I was an attractive child. From infancy I had the sort of face that made people think I was up to something. At the age of two I had perfected the little lop sided grin that says “I’m going to get away with it, and you’re going to let me get away with it because look at this face.” I grew from an adorable infant to a beautiful child. Some teenage girls clustered around me one day, talking about how beautiful I was, how dark and black my eyes were and so on. I would have been in with a chance if I hadn’t been four at the time. That was what life was like. I was a good looking child.

No one much wanted to listen to me, (besides a few people) I guess, they’d have rathered I was quiet and attractive and did what I was told. I had different ideas, more self-directed. I was adored by many, but also deeply frustrating because I wouldn’t do the “good things” people had planned for me. There comes a problem though, even though I was adored, I could never really trust anyone. No one wanted to listen, they wanted control or at best to be liked by me and my prettiness. I am, several people said, easy to like in a strange way.

I’m good as many things. I can paint, and sing, and draw, and cook, and listen, and write, and make love, and identify songs and why a place might be playing them on Fourth of July Weekend. I do some of these well, and some of them less well. The problem is, there are some people who never let me know I wasn’t doing something well. I was smart enough to identify bullshit when I heard it as a child. For example, I am shit at making clay sculptures. I have one that I keep, to remind me of how shitty I am at it. It’s a good thing I do too, because otherwise people would still be telling me how great I am at making clay sculptures.

Now sure, if I practiced, and worked at it, I could become good at clay. I’m not interested though, I don’t like it enough and I don’t care. Sign of genius that, quitting something because I wasn’t instantly good at it. I was interested to learn that last year, before I thought I was just kind of lazy because I didn’t want to work at things I wasn’t good at. Writing is something I can be good at, even though I tend to entertain myself through my writing too much. I sacrifice flow and readability for the sake of something I find fun. As you well know, I can often go on irritating tangents and fill paragraphs with things that only connect for me and links. However, sometimes I let it burn because I like it burned, so there. Most of this paragraph was filler, but I like the filler. It’s good filler, and I won’t hear a word against it.

I’m pretty sure I was making some kind of point here. Allow us to wallow past the point and into this little pool of thought that’s sort of bubbled over from the main stream. Lay on your back and just float for a moment…

I try to be honest, and posts like this one are an attempt at the sort of honesty I’m talking about. I try to give you an idea of what being inside my head is like. And yeah, this is what it’s like. The sudden gear changes, the references to old books, movies and music, because melody haunts my reverie. Some things are so obscure, and the connections change so quickly, I won’t remember why I thought A was connected to B when I read this later. Syd likes the honesty, it baffles a lot of other people. Some people are always looking for a duplicity that doesn’t exist, and that sort of depresses me because I’m always doing my best to be honest. I’m not good at dishonesty, unless I dedicate myself to it, and then I can’t even stand to be around the asshole that it forces me to become. So I go for the honest thing, because it’s easier and nobler and I can. I know other people lie though, because they do.

Back to the story (about this girl named Blah Blah Blah that adored me)

It always leaves me wondering, how much of any compliment is real. It becomes more complicated when people compliment me for things that are automatic for me. I do some things without thinking and other people are all “Holy shit! You did that thing!” and I’m standing there saying “Yeah… I have pretensions to being a person and in order to maintain the facade I have to do shit like this.” It deeply complicates the matter when 80% of the things people have said to me have been either A) Bullshit or B) Stupid.

Did I mention this above? Screw it, I’ve gone this far and I’m not re-reading this thing again. People will offer empty compliments to attractive people. I often have trouble knowing if I told a funny joke, or if the person I’m talking to just thinks I’m cute. Is my painting any good, or were certain people blinded by desire and as such said they liked the horrible splotches of mangled color? I don’t know if I like the paintings that much myself and around the 30th re-write, or the 90th re-read, everything looks like shitty half formed ideas put together by someone as smelly as a monkey with a typewriter, but not as bright. You can’t trust anything anyone says after a while, and when you’re also smart enough to understand what’s going on you quickly start to feel like you’re on an island about two feet by two feet… and the water is rising. At some point we’ll talk about depression, but not today.

I can understand that girl’s problem and her attempt as a solution though. I would assume she has some intelligence and doesn’t want to just be pretty. She had no choice, but she wants more. She’d like to be thought of as a person, an individual, maybe even someone with a thought and an idea. It’s harder for girls, because society still wants women to be ornamental baby makers. Guys can have thoughts, but no one ever really listens or understands. They just try to keep up as best they can and act impressed when he says a big word. If I could do what that girl did, I just might.

There isn’t much I can do, if I leave off showering I just get smelly. I don’t like being really smelly. My hair actually gets more manageable and gets really shiny on the third or fourth day, so that can be worse. If I don’t shave, I just get rugged stubble. It takes a week to get to the just too much stubble to be sexy, but not enough for a beard which is a different kink all together. I can’t do a lot of other things without running afoul of the honesty issue. I can’t say the weight issue came about because of that. The weight and other things came because of an already discussed depression issue. I’m working on that though.

That’s what can happen sometimes though, people just want to look at you, but not talk or listen to you. It can become deeply frustrating, and can lead to a beautiful young person trying to uglify themselves in various ways. Just so they can try to be taken seriously, even though I’m sure this young woman’s activities are already begin dismissed as “A Phase” by people who were never quite as pretty and probably not as smart. Maybe I’m projecting, but if we’ve gone this far then why not? Who are all these posts about anyway?

I think the other reason I never went to try and uglify myself is that in all honesty I have always had to fight stupid shit. From the age of five, when I first worked out people where bullshitting me about my skills, I decided to just fight through it. If I was going to deal with stupid people saying stupid shit then so be it. Before I’d read enough, or understood enough to know what was going on, I’d picked fighting as the way to go. I’d decided on the natural as my way forward, doing things without aid would be the standard I would carry into battle. My combat is more subtle now, but I still do it the same. I’m not taking diet pills to try and slim my waist. I’m working out and trying like hell to avoid the things that made me fat. I’m not putting on make-up to hide or accentuate things, I just want people to be able to take them straight on. I say this with no complaint about people doing it another way. This is the way *I* have to do it, this is the way that I feel is most honest for *ME* in this instance.

I have always been aware enough of the privilege that these midnight black eyes, long lashes, tumbling ravenesque locks (and so on) bring to not wish to not be what I am though. Of course, I’m also aware enough of the privilege this level of intelligence brings as well. I wouldn’t want to be ugly anymore than I’d want to be stupid or lame or deaf or unable to taste sweet things. I know that the cross I’m talking about is less to bear than some people’s, but while I’m talking about myself, I’m also thinking of that poor girl.

I don’t think she has the strength to really fight. She’s putting up a good front, but I fear this battle may be beyond her. Does she have the resources to fight for her own identity? Can she maintain against the pressure? It’s different for girls, they’re given so much more pressure than boys, and the pressure I felt at her age was enormous. I haven’t seen her lately, I hope she got a job where she fits in better, where she can get away. I still think about her, like I think of so many I have seen.

You wanted to know what it was like in here. Now you have one more piece of the puzzle. When you work the whole thing out, let me know. I’m curious to see if it’s a barn or the Space Shuttle Endeavor.

Probably it’ll turn out to be The Pillar of Cheese in the Shape of Jane Austen.

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July 4, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , ,

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