Wednesday, January 13, 2010

NOTHING ON MY LEFT, NOTHING ON MY RIGHT

I've found myself in some strange dreams over the last year. They've involved unseemly and demonic events involving blues legend Robert Johnson, Nazi snowplows, navigating a snowstorm on a paper tricycle. But this one, though an easy solve on the metaphor front, may be the most disturbing.

I'm in an old gymnasium. Dingy and run down bleachers, ancient backboards, giant blocks of false light generated by fluorescent bulb units. I'm gazing upon 3 or 4 groups of people, gathered separately around the gym. Some of these groups are as small as 8, other gatherings balloon up to as many as 15.

Instantly, I feel lost. The small group to my left boasts people that appear to be about my age. Seeing that, I gradually saunter over. This band of people parts to allow me in, much in the same way that all crowds do, gradually and with little or no reaction to my presence.

As I listen the subjects shift from cars, car parts, snowmobiles, bars, beer, "bein' all fucked up", "bitches", ad infinitum. I chime in something of my own that is a bent version of what they are talking about, bent so that it fits my life. This, in an effort to relate.

Their voices die instantly. They look at me in embarrassment.
They are embarrassed for ME.

I try to mosey my way around to the other groups and the reaction is pretty much identical. Where am I supposed to fit here?

I went to the local convenience store earlier today for soda, and the lines were unusually long, and I was in the midst of a group of about 12. The conversations were among people who didn't know each other. They were about snowmobiles. I've never even been on one. Never wanted to. It went on, seemingly forever, subjects changing to other things I don't care about. I felt my face getting hot, my hands digging into the thin pressboard box of Diet Mountain Dew in my right hand. I was shaking a little, and wanted out of there.

Mercifully, much like the dreams, it ended. I left, welcoming the 20 degree air outside to cool off my steaming face and it's calming effects.

I don't know where I am anymore. It's not the fault of those around me that they know nothing about click tracks, whammy bars, directors of photography. Why should they care about what "Namaste" means, or what a Gnostic is? No one should be forced to know who invented the A bomb, or who was president when the Vietnam conflict ended, much less who Jack Ruby is.

So where does that leave me?

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