People Are Strange When You're A Stranger

The weirdest thing about me is that sometimes I don't even think that I am human.  I don't mean that in the sense that I'm cold, unfeeling, unsympathetic, or generally just a bad person; I mean that I actually feel inhuman, like an alien or something.  Sometimes I wonder if other people feel the same way too.  Let me try to articulate this correctly, so you don't think I'm completely batshit crazy: sometimes I feel like I'm looking into some great experiment, and everyone I see and watch is like a case study; sometimes (and please do not take offense to this analogy) I feel like I am watching lab rats in a maze.  I don't think is my God complex shining through; sometimes I just feel like I've zoned out of the social world and am looking into it through a window in my own little room between my ears.

Everyone has their private lives that differ drastically from the public lives they lead.  I think that I'm pretty normal on the surface, and sometimes I am completely normal, but there are moments that I'm glad that I'm the only one that can hear the thoughts that are going on in my head, because they are incredibly socially inappropriate.  It's like an impulse reaction to circumstances, but thankfully controlled by my educated self.  My private self sometimes dislikes things that my public self likes, and sometimes my private self will like things that my public self dislikes.  How can you have two different people, wanting different things, living in one body?  It sounds like a most unfortunate marriage.  It's strange to think that everyone is never who they seem to be - they could be the coolest person you ever met, but who they are behind closed doors could be completely fucked by "normal" standards, or just really different from how you know them to be..."normally".  For example, when you see a homeless guy on the streets of Toronto that has a sign that says "Smile If You Masturbate" (gosh, I really should have made that the title of this post).  You don't want to smile for that bastard.  You don't want to give him the satisfaction.  You also don't want the people you are with or who are around you to have the satisfaction either.  But you can't help but smile, because there's nothing else you can do when you are called out publicly for doing something that everyone at some point has done privately.  God, humanity is so uncool by nature.

It's such a simple thing, but we forget often that other people actually do have lives.  They grow up inside themselves, just like us.  They have public and private wants.  They never say half the things they are thinking, and will probably not do half the things they actually want to do.  We will never know completely what someone else is thinking, no matter how much we love them or how close we are.  Well, that might be possible if you are really, really lucky.  Anyhow, people are just so...strange.

Aren't they?  Sometimes I really wonder if anyone else ever feels the same way as I do; to not feel like any particular kind of person at all, like a blob of 80% water with a set of vague preferences that fluctuate from day to day.

I'm 22 years old. I'm a woman. I dress a certain way.  I'm brown skinned and ethnically mixed. I'm also Canadian.  There are a whole array of things that are "givens" about me.  But truth be told, I don't identify with anything

Strange, right?

I don't know how to answer any question about myself other than what I am feeling immediately, because I have never felt like I've belonged anywhere in particular, and I'm changing constantly.  I'm not sad about that; I actually like it a lot.  Despite the hard fact that because I am this way, I tend not to focus my full energies into one thing, I think that my life is best defined as "belonging by not belonging"; by not belonging, I belong to everyone. 

That's why I don't really understand when people can say for sure that they are a certain way or they aren't, identify so clearly with a certain group of people, and label themselves in every single way imaginable.  There's nothing wrong with living like that; maybe I'm just the weird one.

Arianne Tong1 Comment