F. Scott Fitzgerald

was trying to be upper-class, while writing about the upper class

to win the heart of a dream girl, who was a nightmare, who wouldn’t marry him, because she was worried, he wouldn’t make enough money.

Eventually, she went insane.

Just think about living your whole life, not being good enough, because your standard came from somebody who was crazy.

Zelda, this poem is for you.

I can’t go to a job, or enjoy a hobby

as a guy who doesn’t know very much, and isn’t sure how to act

among the worst kinds of people. You know who I’m talking about

they lecture you, use their limited knowledge to sound like experts

or, point-out something wrong in your appearance.

If you stay, you have to play along with them, like you are having a good time

but what you really want to do

is throw a drink in their face, or see if they have a plan, after they get punched.

Unfortunately, these acts will make you a pariah.

If Kanya West can become a social outcast

at the pinnacle of fame, social scorn can happen to anybody.

I always feel like I’m giving up too much

to try to fit in,

and

many are given lee-way, to act like fools.

What about them?

They talk endlessly about reality TV, relationships, money, where they are going to live, countries they have been to, their education, careers, and incompetent husbands.

They live empty lives, and need to fill them with gossip to get through their tarnished days, without sparkle.

It isn’t what you do, that matters, but how you do it—a fresh way to approach dull situations.

The world looks like a flea circus to me, and doing strange acrobatics, won’t make you less of a flea.

However, I want to write the Great American Novel—and it may take me 20 years, or 20 days—that is the gamble—the not knowing—that makes life worth living.

The goldfish watches people from his glass prison and wants to walk, but it will take him billions of years to do this, and then the five-year-old boy, on a whim, cooks him in the microwave, and he sprouts legs, in 20 seconds.

Whenever I go somewhere, I have to become something, to deal with the realities. If I am only me, I feel like an empty vessel, tossed by the winds of absurdity. At church, I am a cult-leader. At work, I am a prophet or a healer. When I am with people, I want to understand them. What makes them tick? Are they a broken clock, that tells the right time twice a day, or do they tell perfect time, all the time?

I cannot enjoy life, without writing about it. It’s too disappointing—too boring—too horrifying, all on its own. No—I must become a reporter. I might go to a murder, describe the stab scene—the artistry of the crime. Perhaps, the man who got away with it, used creativity, but that’s the exception. Most murders, like everyday life, don’t involve much thinking. They happen in a fit of rage, in 30 seconds, or less.

As a reporter, the worst situations become interesting. People aren’t paying attention, and the reporter must listen and watch for something to write down. Narcissists who talk endlessly about themselves are excellent characters for novels.

I can’t pay money to go dancing, because all dancing is—is a way for a man to get with a woman. I don’t enjoy walking in patterns on the floor to music, but someone could just as easily say, “I don’t like golfing, because all golfing is—is putting a ball in a hole.”

Nature does that to reproduce, I guess.

It’s best not to think too much about nature. Otherwise, futility sets in, like a cold or a hang-over, and the desire not to move is real. Writing meets many of my needs: entertainment, escape, pain relief, and a free psychiatrist.

I met a guy for lunch the other day. He had a good heart, but he was lonely. Many years ago, I realized people can’t solve my loneliness. It seems logical, that if you spend time with others, you will belong to them, but more often than not, this only increases your distance. No amount of conversation will bring you together. I gave this guy advice, without being an asshole, but he wasn’t ready to listen. It’s easy to give up on people when you are in the desert, but I don’t—there are grains of sand there, that are good friends. Sometimes, the absurd winds blow in your direction.

“I’ve always attracted dysfunctional people,” my dad said.

“Me too. Like attracts Like. It’s okay to be strange. It only hurts you, if you don’t know who you are. Being accepted by perfect people is no great thing. In fact, they are often the nastiest people under the sun. It’s a relief to be loved by the strange.”

“Cheers to that,” my dad said.

2 thoughts on “It’s a Relief to be Loved by the Strange

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