My Bibliography

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Precipice of an alternate plane

Since I was a tiny little kid I've lived in my own world, never really feeling that I belonged anywhere at all.  Not even as part of a family in the early years of my childhood, when I had one of those.  Always on the outside looking in, feeling like I was standing on the abyss of an alternate plane.  'A strange wee boy', people always said.  Still do, except 'wee boy' has changed to 'character'.  Perhaps aptly, because that's what it feels like most times, that I'm simply playing a part; nothing's real.
Given my own room so I could read, write, and house a collection of unusual, interesting to me only, objects that I'd come across; stones picked up from the street, pieces of wood from the forest, and of course a place where I could hide, at least for a while, a sackful of kittens that'd been on their way to the local river.  But mostly, I suspect, because it was eventually accepted that I was different, that I, one of five children, even in my formative years, needed a sanctuary.  Or perhaps my parents just gave in, put me out of the way to shut me up.  But I often wonder what force of nature set me apart, for it wasn't a choice by any means, I only knew that I needed a place to be alone when I needed to be, and I mean completely, even sitting in the pitch black of our storage locker out back, which I gathered up old furniture for in order to sit in complete isolation, telling them that I had a migraine, eventually building partitions in there with bamboo canes and the like, for a kitchen, living and bedroom area, my inventiveness coming to light with an old car battery.  No wonder they were concerned.
And sure, like any parent would, mine tried to encourage me to join in, to be like everyone else, encouraging me to embrace commonplace, for that's what people did, or at least back then they did, for we didn't have YouTube to easily express ourselves, hope to have our talent discovered.  Yes, tried to squish me into a slot like a lump of Plasticine (Play-Doh, if you're North American) simply to accommodate their mainstream expectation, sending me to Judo and Karate because that's what a boy should be doing, my mother, more accepting, often telling me not to do and say certain things in front of my father, such as using my disguise kit around him, one of my favourite things, creating new and wonderfully whacky characters, both male and female.
The parents of the few little friends I did have, didn't like me, especially as I got into double digits, called me sly - or sleekit - as they say in Scotland, simply because I was too different.  Suspicious of me, I could tell, for whatever reason, saying that I was too clever for my own good, but simply confused because I didn't comply with what they expected, what they knew a boy should be, eventually banning me from coming to ask if their children could come out to play, a bad influence as I only might've been, lest I induce some imagination, or something, into their own child.  But that not stopping me, inventive as I was, cat-calling, literally, wailing from the back of their houses when I wanted them to come out, and authentically too; a great mimic of man and beast.  'Still waters run deep' - my own father said, although I have no idea why such a simile should be applied to an intensely profound thinker; nothing stagnant about the way my mind worked at all.  But no, nothing sinister going on in there, despite what they thought, no devious ploy being hatched; simply an observer of people, even then, wondering why they all seemed to be the same, and amused; watching them judging me and getting it all wrong, for I've only ever had good intent.  But I can see their point now; why they might've been unnerved.  I would be, if I met me.
I was special, preferred the world as told by encyclopaedias and Enid Blyton, a children's writer who inspired me to handwrite three books of my own there in my little box-room before the age of ten, and for which I at least achieved some recognition in school, one of them being read out a chapter a day to the class, and given a half missing book from the library, Enid Blyton's 'The Famous Five' or 'The Secret Seven', I forget, but being asked to complete it, which I know now to have been a test even if I did just think at the time they simply wanted to put it back in the library, money tight everywhere obviously.  And with a renewed interest, my parents were called in to discuss my talent and how it should be nurtured; the nun's positively orgasmic over what they'd discovered.  And suddenly it was alright; I no longer had to hide the fact from my father that I'd swapped Judo for drama class and had a leading role in a play based on Robert Burn's poem, Tam O Shanter, playing in a church hall in a neighbouring town, even if he wouldn't come to see me.  Yes, something to my artistic sensibility after all, perhaps the boy didn't need to be a product of environment.  Really?
But then, that's when the cork in the neck of my father's alcohol problem popped proper, and everything, everything, disintegrated, no room, literally, in the children's home for a boy like me, or that is to say there was, a single little room going begging, but no matter how much I did, they wouldn't give it to me, not understanding me in the way that my parents finally had no choice but to succumb to.  No, they knew better, it was for my own good that I should share a room; it would bring me out of my shell.  Humph.  Well, they came to regret that, for if I couldn't have a physical retreat I would most certainly have a mental one.  And it lasted for years, punishing them, using my powers of observation to amuse myself by playing with their minds, and still never letting them into mine.  And I left there as soon as I was old enough, very young, sixteen, to get my own flat, my life's mission to be alone, and pretty much have been ever since.  But then, I can still go way over the top to prove a point.
And when I take stock of myself, my life today, for all the things I've done, the places in those encyclopaedias that I've visited for myself now, the world that I've travelled and loved, each country reinventing me a little more, it's as if I'd never left that little box-room at all, for my introspective is certainly the same.  More well-rounded now, yes, matured, but the people of the world, somehow still acting out a script in my eyes still on the outside looking in and wondering why I'm not really a part of it all, still feeling there was no role for me to play in it, even if I can put one foot over the threshold of the world's stage on occasion.
I remember when I was five-yrs-old, when times were comparatively good compared to the horrors to come of only a few short years later that destroyed our entire family; my father's alcoholism also only in its infancy then, dangling my feet over the balcony on a hot summer's day, hanging out with my rabbit, either Thumper, I, II or III, I forget, but watching the kids from our block, including my siblings, splashing about in a paddling pool, and thinking how I really wanted to join in and my mother trying to encourage me to.  But I just couldn't, and I remember telling her that they looked really silly as being the reason why, knowing that that statement was the silliest of all.  And for the first time I think, I knew there was something different about me; analyzing each one of those kids, their screams, and the way they splashed about without needing to think about what they were doing; simply having a great time, expressing delight in a way that I felt unable to but that I was, nonetheless, entirely envious of.
But then, I sometimes wonder today if my very first memory might've been responsible for that, somehow instilling a reticence within me.  But then again, maybe not, for even during that horrendous incident at four-yrs-old, I remember analysing the fact that my father most certainly would not cut the baby out of my mother's heavily pregnant stomach even if I were to have run into the kitchen to get a knife that he'd screamed for me to do; knowing even at that young age that alcohol made people do and say things that weren't normal, and that he didn't really mean it even if he thought he did at the time; me simply looking at him defiantly, refusing to budge, contemplating what he was doing, him yet to hit me.  No, if he wanted to kill her, he'd have to strangle her, but I knew he wouldn't; and yes, that sounds horrendous, but I consider that I must've seen it all before, to have stayed so calm.  Normal.
And today, as a bit of an armchair psychologist, even if I have arrived at the conclusion my propensity for seclusion has nothing to do with that incident, not really, otherwise my siblings might've been more like me too, I still want to blame that.  But, no, I know it's inherent, I was born with it, a true introvert, the circumstance of that past all but having a mere affect on the extreme sensibility that was germinating from birth; yes, I would've been like that anyway, because I know I'm stronger than that, perhaps even because of that kind of thing; never owning their mistakes, but using them only to become a better person.
I clearly remember my mother's face being resigned to the fact that nothing she could say or do would change my mind about joining in any normal childhood activity.  But it wasn't for the want of trying on her part, or, I have to say, mine; the struggle going on in my mind, over-analysing everything as I did back then, can still do now, the difference being that it can easily dismiss the kind of irrelevance, the normality of life, that it no longer needs to consider much even if does still amuse me to on occasion, always there, in the background, smirking.  She even managed to get to me to join the Boy Cubs, and off we went, me in my little uniform, my shorts, my striped peaked cap and my yellow cravat, she dropping me off inside the door of the church hall just before the session started.  And I'd been highly excited about the prospect of it, the adventure that boy Cubs had, the ones I'd read about, carving things out of wood, tying knots, going camping, and all the rest of it.  But when she left, I sneaked out too, couldn't go in, and not daring to go home, not after the money she'd spent on my uniform, tight as it was, money, not the uniform, I watched them from the outside, intrigued, looking in on them through the window and all the while turning to ice in the freezing rain, wishing I could go in, but too late, my entrance would be too grand then.  I was to make my own way home, safe for a child to do so in those days, and new to the town, relatively rural at that time, I got horribly lost, again, but not so much that they needed to call the police this time.  I can still get horribly lost, in my car, even with GPS, no sense of direction, you see.  And I remember feeling so alone, so traumatized for an otherwise tough, but sensitive little boy, but not because I was lost at all, no, I love the adventure of being lost, but because I wondered why I couldn't participate in life.  What was stopping me?
But in the end, as is my other propensity, to turn tin to gold - a form of mental alchemy - making the most of any situation, it became one of my favourite memories; arriving home much earlier than I should've, but standing outside the door waiting to go in at the time perhaps I might've arrived back at, not wanting to let my mother down, intending to pretend that I'd actually been to the Cubs, because I could convince anybody of anything, but in the end wailing that I couldn't go in when she saw the state of me, my appearance betraying me, I knew, my fingers blue with the cold, stiff, my body shivering in a way that it shouldn't have been from coming home only from a few short blocks, and her wrapping me up in a blankie and fussing, sitting me down in front of our black and white telly with a mug of hot chocolate to watch my favourite Friday evening show, Bewitched - one that had me trying for real in my bed at night to twitch my nose to try and convince the toys in the room that they didn't need to pretend to be lifeless in front of me; I wouldn't tell their secret.  Or sometimes I twitched it to whisk me away to another place, another country, America, where I could swim with Dolphins, and other times to become invisible for real, and genuinely surprised, disappointed, that when I opened my eyes, nothing had changed.  Yes, a dreamer.  And while she tried to encourage me to give the Cubs another go, I knew, she knew, that I couldn't; that I didn't belong in a group.  No, not a team player at all, and besides, everyone wore the same clothes.
And I probably drove her crazy; the kid that asked 'why, where, when, what?' constantly, all the while attached to her hip.  But far too sensitive a boy for my father's liking, even if he did encourage my art and my intellect in better times, nicknaming me 'Brainbox', often getting me up out of bed after the others were asleep because I couldn't, my mind too active, another reason they'd given me my own room, so I could read myself to sleep.  Yes, we'd to do crosswords in the newspaper, the easy one with the cryptic clues where the answer might've been found by joining the end of a word and the beginning of another, or he'd teach me better skills at drawing and painting, activities that were close to my heart; little strokes instead of straight lines, better, apparently, but shocking him, adding a little man falling out of a helicopter and suchlike in the background; trees and houses all very well, but a tad boring, 'don't you think?'.  Or we'd just talk, if he'd had a beer or two, and which usually entailed, I knew even then, the testing of my mind, but testing his in return, knowing just what he was doing, and for all our differences, we were very much alike.  Yes, I can still see that look in his eyes, the one that I know creeps into my own when I'm asking an unsuspecting someone something somewhere to which their answer, and the way they'll deliver it, will say so much more about them.  And usually direct questions too, intimate, such as, "Oh, how did you lose your arm?" where no one else at the party had dared to ask, all pretending not to notice; going around the room saying all the usual things; talking about the weather and how nice the spread was, all being so damn polite and fake and predictable.
But 'number two son' anyway; my job to be mummy's boy, plus, she and I had a connection that I felt made me special, for whatever reason, sharing a birthday an' all.  But don't get me wrong, out of the three boys my father felt the need to teach how to box, how to be tough guys, I impressed him, daring to punch him when he told me to, square in the face, flooring him, not like my older brother, daddy's boy who didn't want to.  Yes, tough enough, when I needed to be, but a lover, not a fighter, and I didn't enjoy the Judo lessons either, I told him, even if I did hold back that one of the reasons for that was that everybody dressed the same save for the colour of their belts.  And he was wary of me ever since, proud, actually, perhaps for the first time, going on in my adulthood to tell someone, before he died, that I was a better man than he could ever hoped to have been, and perhaps, the acceptance I needed, regardless of who he was and how he lived his life; still my father, after all.
Yes, 'shy', that's what my relatives said about me, knowing I was peeking at them through the crack of the door when they visited, feeling unhinged, the other kids clambering down the stairs, dashing through to the living room to see grandparents and aunties and uncles and to receive the inevitable presents they'd bring, or pocket money, before going off to play with our cousins.  But me, even though I was entirely intrigued, really wanting to, just couldn't for the life of me walk into that room, knowing that when I eventually did after all the inevitable coaxing, that it would be even more of a big deal, and wishing, like the Boy Cubs, that I'd just blended in with my brothers and sisters from the get go.  And I knew that they knew I was looking in too, even if they didn't know that I knew; could read their body language, the looks they exchanged, all knowing not to make too much of a fuss initially or the shy grandson or nephew would never come in at all.
But in a way, I needed that fuss, the reassurance that I was actually wanted, despite the fact I had no reason to suspect otherwise.  But it really felt that I would be imposing, that I didn't belong, not really, that I needed to be invited to come over into their world.  And yes, they were right; I was always shy, quiet and shy, actually, but much, much more than that too, not stagnant at all, not quiet in my mind, but my introspective too complex for a child to grasp, no, something that would take an entire lifetime to try and understand, to fine tune, or at least find a level of acceptance with.  But then again, maybe my reluctance was borne of the fact that practically every time they did come by, my hamster or my guinea pig got killed; my room invaded by little ones, inadvertently strangling them when I wasn't there, or squashing them under the sandbox or something.  Whatever, but nonetheless I felt that I needed some kind of validation to join in, still do, still cannot ingratiate myself into social situations without at least some encouragement, not even on social media.  And I don't understand it, because I am, believe it or not, quite a confident person, in every other respect.  Yes, still on the outside looking in, even to a faceless, largely fake, society, where I could be, if I was so inclined, anything but me.  But I hate lies of any kind in what is supposed to be real life, innocent, or not, for marketing purposes or otherwise, and even if to my detriment as a writer trying to package myself, it would go against all I'd ever said about integrity.  And so even online, I've been considered strange.  But at least there, I've met some of my own species; yes, I can tell.
And today, the way I perceive the world, my ideas, the things I'll say; unusual, seeming strange to most, has people calling me 'interesting', telling me that I am 'certainly never boring' or as I would say myself, even if it isn't true, 'wonderfully eccentric', but more for their benefit, to put them at ease, for otherwise they'll categorise me themselves, label me with a derogatory word because its what people do, generally, when they can't understand something, usually suspicious of anything different, thinking I must have some kind of motive for being interested in them.  And I do, but it's not sinister or harmful or self-serving or anything, no, I'm a lover not a fighter, remember, it's only about stealing parts of them to put in a story one day.  About reinventing them, for I can't help but read them anyway, so why not put my skills of observation to good use?  It's a compliment; means you're interesting yourself.  And most people I've ever known in my life do make up the many characters in my books that readers say are so wonderfully nuanced, 'so real'.  But I don't blame people who encounter me, for not getting me off the bat, for I don't talk about the normal kinds of things that they might be comfortable with.  I just can't, no, I have savoir-faire after all; it's part of my alien DNA.  And besides, it keeps me sane, to freak them out just a little.
So you've got by now that I hate predictability, it's just so, well, predictable, really, as much as that statement just was, especially in fiction where the characters don't have to live by the social conditioning of the real world.  But yet, still they do in many books, and people seem to lap it up.  And not only that, but they have a whole other predictability about them too; usually gorgeous, with olive skin, green eyes, flowing charcoal hair and the body of a god or goddess and the like; all having found true and intense love too probably.  No, I love to 'blacken the thumbnails' of even my most beautiful characters, give them some failing, whether a facial twitch or a propensity for being infantile, to nitpick each other, something, and even if that character does happen to be a figment of my imagination and not based on a real person at all, the traits I assign them, their FBI profile if you like, have come from a lifetime of watching how people act, perhaps a combination of traits from different folks, but injecting something unique into them as well, something completely against the grain, unpredictable, shocking even, maybe, but something that sets them apart from the person you might expect them to be, for why put in my imaginary worlds that which I hate most about the real one that is so commonplace, both there and, as I said, in fiction?
When I first started out as a writer and I began to tentatively talk about it with people, the inevitable question came all too often, 'are you in the book?' together with a sly look, a smile, a leer, even, as they expected to hear that I would in fact be the main character, had made myself a superhero or something, or at least achieved for myself in fiction that which I could never aspire to in life, and forgetting, or at least, unsuspecting if they didn't know me well, that I can 'read' people's minds.  How about saying, 'oh how interesting, well done you'?  Those people need punished, judging me by their standard, for that's exactly what they might've done; perhaps through self-centredness or an inability to actually imagine anything else, and if not, then certainly they'd have created a character that was already subliminally imprinted into their minds through every other character in every other book they'd ever read.  And no, many I've told that to, that I write books, don't want to give you credit for the fact that you might actually be quite good at it, until you tell them about the years you put in, the college you went to, and if they've been really bad, annoying, losing them in the terminology that, make no mistake about it, displays that you're embroiled in the writing world, losing them by talking about genres they've never even heard of or the formulaic, technical aspects of it, all designed to correct the proverbial eye-roll with which they'd ask that question.  And so with a feigned, but nonetheless 'genuinely surprised, somehow condescending at the same time', look of my own, I say, "Yes, of course I am," pausing, to allow their sneer some momentary credit because I'm generous that way, "there's something of me in every single one of the characters that I create, how could there not be?  Oh... I'm sorry, but did you mean... me...  as a single character?  Oh, God no, I'm far too complex for that.... sick of seeing myself in the mirror every day so much so that I don't even see me there anymore, let alone put me in a book... don't even like writing in first person - can be a sign of an amateur, generally."  And after which, the world we go into is up to them, either genuinely interested now; going on to ask about my books, perhaps even wanting to read one, or changing the subject to talk about how drunk they got over the weekend.  Maybe I just need to know better people?  Easier said than done.
And it's true, a wealth of observation, a mine of information, from watching people over a lifetime, can't be, shouldn't be, perhaps, wasted on just one character.  Otherwise what was it all for, my life of people watching?  And certainly, if there's one thing that life has taught me, people don't get me anyway, many don't want to, most only want what they know, what they understand, what society has dictated they must be like, what I must be like.  But then again, perhaps they would like me better at their own pace, presented as that character in a book.  Yes, maybe then they'd understand me, take the time to get to know me, for they don't embrace me in reality even when I make the effort, and I do try to these days, often quite skilled at it too, the complacence of my relative maturity happy to try and fit in, to act 'normal', exercising that fine line of managing to keep myself to myself for the most part without being too removed, for shy isn't cute at this age, simply creepy.
Yes, even if others cannot understand a solitary existence, or the machinations of what is actually the mind of a deep thinker, someone who lives in a world of their own, I'm comfortable with myself these days at least, embrace my divergent way of thinking, for I don't have a choice.  And so are my lifelong friends, who are few, admittedly, quality over quantity for me, always, even if they can't still fully understand it, but they wouldn't have me without it, it's why they're my friends.  But the difference today is that I can jump into that paddling pool even if I am still analysing the people splashing around in there with me, smiling, coyly at the deliciously ridiculous ignorant bliss of it all, not allowing my propensity for overanalysing to get the better of me anymore.  But then... that's not really me at all; it's my alter ego, his name is Sebastian, for Stephan could never splash about like an idiot.
He's comparatively normal, Sebastian, you'd like him; people always do, he's just like everyone else, nearly, maybe even with a bit of an edge, a little outrageous, maybe, but always fun.  It's a thing, people know about it, in fact they came up with it, giving a name to the elusive twin of my introvert and gemini nature, which if you know anything about being an introvert, also gives a person the ability to set wheels in motion before sitting back and enjoying the ride as if they hadn't at all.  Yes, it's gone on for the last two decades in two different countries, people always asking me 'who's out tonight; Stephan or Sebastian?'  And if I say, 'Stephan', the response is kind of like, 'oh, okay', and if 'Sebastian', they say, 'ye-ah... par-tay.'  Although these days, I'm more inclined to say, 'actually, it's Steph Sebastian' - and not just to confuse them anymore, but it's alright, they seem to like him too, and of course, he's not the only one getting a bit older.  But I wonder, perhaps, because it's what I do, if Stephan will finally take over Sebastian altogether?  Never! (That was Seb talking there.  Fool, that he is!)
I still live in my proverbial box room, I think, but bringing my unusual ideas alive in my writing now, makes me feel less alone, creating worlds that I don't need to look in on but can be a part of.  For they are part of me, it's where I belong, I'm comfortable there, I like my own company, the good and the bad, the people in them really the only company I ever needed, and save for talking to myself, I think the healthiest way to go.  And even if it were an issue anymore, for I simply don't care, truly, I don't have to worry about how I'm perceived in the waking world.  In fact, I love it that people are so confused by me, play on it oftentimes, and smile, reading their minds, knowing what's going through them as they try to work me out.  But it's old hat to me now.  Let them think they know.
But I think my very disposition, obviously naturally against mainstream, could be detrimental to any success I could hope to achieve as a writer.  And it confuses me, for if there's one thing that I notice people saying all over the place, it's that they want originality.  Why then, are they so reluctant to embrace it when it is presented to them?  For instance when we see the so-called 'mommy porn' book of Fifty Shades of Grey and the sensation surrounding that - and on which I wrote a rather scathing opinion recently, which I won't go into again - but nonetheless, this is exactly what I'm talking about; what I've always seen since childhood; society all doing the same thing based on nothing more than the sheep factor mentality.  That's a real shame.
People will pay up to $15.00 for that book, written by a complete amateur, apparently, buying it blindly, without even reading the sample simply because everyone was talking about it, and for the most part hating it, not finishing it when they do.  But yet, I have to slog my guts out to try and give away the passion that I pour the culmination of my entire life into every day, trying to make up for missed opportunity from my formative years when my talent was first noticed and spat to the wayside.  I strive to make the stories I write today, the best they can possibly be with an almost obsessive compulsive dedication to producing the product of originality that is me, an unusual person that people love to apply the word 'unique' to all over the place as a person and as a writer.  And yet not a spit in the ocean for my efforts.  But then that's life, one day, perhaps, after I'm dead, maybe, but still, there has to be some point to it all.  Hasn't there?   But don't get me wrong; this isn't a gripe about that, not really, what I'm talking about is mainstream, mediocre, the middle-of-the-road majority dictating trends, for the lack of imagination, or knowing how to embrace being an individual, to make truly independent choices.  Am I really the odd man out, 'odd' being the operative, for wanting to be that person my entire life?  Isn't that what we were supposed to have been, why we were given a mind of our own?  No, what I'm talking about is that kind of thing that we hear and see every day, a generic automaton society, wearing the same expression as always they have, and I think the Internet has only exacerbated it.
And as much as I can splash about in a pool these days, I still cannot genuinely cheer aloud for a sports team; cannot become animated to the point where my life might depend on that team winning, or scream and throw my arms in the air because they scored a goal even if I can admire and respect their skill.  No, I simply see it as a game.  And yes, I get it, the underlying reason for that kind of camaraderie, competition, more than just game, yes, but I find it hard to become that invested nonetheless, get carried away in the way that many do, simply because they've inherited that need to support their team, like religion or their surname.  And nothing wrong with that; it's just not me.  I'm the kind of person that sees an interesting 'share' and needs to go look it up to prove its validity before sharing it myself - and it astounds me how much of the information we see everyday is false in that how much people pass on that information just because it popped up on their Facebook page, and so it must be true, without even thinking about it - e.g. pictures of babies with growths on their faces who can only be cured by Facebook contributing a dollar for every time that picture is shared.  Yes, people need to think more, before acting blindly.
Although, lest I be misjudged as being emotionless, which I have been in the past, many times, I do in fact experience emotion deeply, profoundly, but quietly.  'Still waters'.  No, I may not weep for the death of a person, I'm stoic and a pillar of strength in the face of that kind of tragedy, which, I suppose, is why people come to me with their issues all the time, but I can cry like a little bitch if my dog dies - which I did four years ago, for months.  Yes, I can cheer on, wholeheartedly, an underdog in life, encourage people to pull themselves from being a product of a less desirable environment, to be all that they can be.  I can get excited for that kind of success.  I can applaud loudly, smile respectfully as the Mona Lisa itself, unless that's really a sneer and whether it was a man in drag or not, and, yes, shed tears of joy for beauty, an artist, a pianist, an opera... even a Hallmark moment... on the rare occasion.  My heart can scream endlessly for the pain of a neglected child or the abuse of an animal, it can lurch to the depths of despair at what goes on this supposedly civilised world, in places like Syria, the death, the destruction, and for the meaningless acts of violence and atrocity that we see in our every day lives in our own cities.  

And group mentality, yes, that really confuses me, perhaps the fakest, or truest, of all traits of humanity, but I do know this, the oxygen to my brain, would never allow me to act outside of myself like they did in my city last year over the Stanley Cup final; I don't care if it would be really neat to see the department store burning down (and perhaps it needs to be) but no way am I putting a gas soaked rag in a cop car's gas tank because I'm in a crowd of people doing the same thing, and for what; because we lost a hockey match?  I don't get that, what, a blatant display of inner desire, frustration?
Perhaps not surprisingly, you might think at this stage, I have never been in love, or even had a meaningful relationship, and no expectation that I ever will.  And while I have had many romantic encounters and short-lived affairs throughout my life, I don't need them anymore, perhaps never did, going through the motions only.  And I'm not a slave to my body in that respect, nor did I ever actually feel that I wanted to be in a relationship.  No, I can say that and actually mean it; that for all its apparent, benefits, the companionship, the financial benefits and whatever else that comes with it, that I really don't want to live as a couple.  Couldn't.  No, I like being on my own, with my dog, always did, have no choice; it's simply not in me to be otherwise inclined.  And as much as I see the nature of people, I can't really understand why many will settle to be with someone when, in many cases, that person is obviously not the love of their life.  To me that says they simply do not know how to be themselves, and even, perhaps can't be, cannot think outside of what people have always done, just cannot be what I hold most dearly, alone.  Sheep.  And yes, I can be happy for those that do find love, the real thing, and can be envious of that too, in awe of it, of their resulting family.  And I can laugh too; at the Internet, for instance, social media, for the most part, about who people pretend to be on there, a whole new source of inspiration for my characters; even their fake personas not truly who they are even behind a worldwide cloak of anonymity.  But each to their own.
I hate lies of any description, black, white, or the fifty shades of grey in-between (sorry, couldn't help myself) whether the entire fa├žade of life that humanity lives by, or told directly to my face, because I can't help but see it, feel it, and as in control of myself as I am, pretending, making you think I believe you, I find myself recoiling back to that alternate plane, a place of comfort that precipice that threatens to swallow me the older I get, for I was right all along; I don't belong in that world; I prefer my own.  A lone wolf, but not a loner, wouldn't have it any other way, and yet still, I feel so alone.  But that's alright.


  1. in my blog response, it was my brother who does those jokes i never can tell from truth until after; i think he intentionally sets me up knowing i will take it as truth; might be amusing for him it sure as hell isn't for me; also please give me the link to the thing you read on death, that inspired you to write this. thanks. and thanks for your comment on my blog post.

  2. Actually I read it as part of Jean Sasson's blog here:

    1. thanks, i will check into that.

    2. Bravo! What an amazing autobiography, thank you SS, I can relate to the need for ones solitude. The deep delving into what is 'shy' is fascinating. And how you perceive 'others' is so honest. I'm so happy you published it here.

    3. Thanks Jean, I'm happy to have people come here and relate to this piece, and is the side of the Internet that reminds me I have encountered some, like yourself, that makes my effort at displaying myself online worth it. You have no idea how many times I feel like going through the Internet and wiping myself clean... so to speak... but I do find, like I did 'Dear diary' before it, the Internet a useful tool to at least purge my mind of such introspective 'burden'.

    4. You've got that James Joycean thing going on, your mind just spills out on the page. Thinking of his 'Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man', so earnest and intense. You really have so much talent. So while you are "unburdening" you are touching souls, which is really the goal ain't it?

  3. I came, I read, I pondered. There should be a way of sorting children through E. M. Forster's catcher or something that places introspective children with parents who can deal with thinking. Hmmmm. Anyway, I thought this was worth a little extra time, so I emailed it to myself. Thanks for an excellent piece, and damn the people who wouldn't spend the time!

  4. Excellent idea! Don't tell anyone but I really, really wanted to be fostered in the end; figured my chances would've been better, might even have gotten an inheritance, but no, wasn't even an option. LOL. And thanks so much for reading this and commenting, I'm glad you enjoyed it, I know it was lengthy. :D

  5. Well S P Mount. The way you have described yourself, was as though you were writing about me. The eldest of 6 children, I loved to be alone and I always felt the odd person out. So everything you've experience, rock collecting (still do that, by the way) reading for hours, leading other kids in adventures on bike rides, and always striving to be the best at anything I did, set me a part from other kids. Teachers told my parents I was disinterested because my IQ was too high. But like you, I felt I was living the echo of life as it happened long long ago. That whatever was around me, including myself, was just the echo of the real occurences.

    Just thought I'd let you know. You're not alone. Even if you want to be. You'll need to know that to be alone, you'll now need to choose to be.

  6. Thanks Joss, yes, I go between loving and hating social media, but the thing I have liked about it best is that I can meet like-minded people like yourself to actually relate to, as I said here I recognise my own species on occasion, and it's always great to have at least that kind of understanding, makes me feel less alone, when I need that reassurance, and makes me not delete all my accounts when I feel at my most introverted... an impulse I've managed to contain. LOl. Thanks so much for reading this; I appreciate it greatly.


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