Was it the nearly [tag]full moon[/tag]? Or the fact that it was the [tag]summer solstice[/tag] that made Friday evening such a weird evening? A combination of factors, perhaps? In any event, last night was in a word, weird. Albeit in an amusing way. I love to observe this human species in its natural habitat.
It occurred to me today while getting caught up on the blog of one of my favorite authors, [tag]Caitlín R. Kiernan[/tag], that in a previous life I must surely have been an anthropologist. Or perhaps I will be in a next one. Or, if we’re just some random cosmic accident and nothing of us persists after entropy catches up with our bodies, then perhaps I should have studied anthropology in my youth. No regrets, mind you, but [tag]anthropology[/tag] certainly would have been an interesting path — not that journalism hasn’t been.
But in the course of the blog entry I was reading this afternoon, Ms. Kiernan mentions that the father of her significant other “has finally returned from his latest anthropological sojourn to some exotic clime or another (I forget just where, somewhere in South America).” That struck a cord, since I love to travel, particularly to exotic climes, and I love to observe people and ponder what makes them tick and act the way they do, since, even in middle age I seem to have no capacity to understand my “fellow” humans. In fact, last night, I was enjoying watching the weirdness around me so much that I found myself wishing I could be invisible, so I could observe unnoticed.
This in turn struck me as rather ironic, given the fact that I spent much of my youth making sure that I would be noticed, that I would stand apart from the crowd. There was my gym rat phase, marked by tight cut-offs, tank-tops and shaved skin. Then there was my goth phase, which was rather a minor one, albeit marked by even more odd shaving; I couldn’t pull off androgyny very well (and have pictures to prove it), and I had already moved on by the time the rivet heads came along. But I would have made a great rivet head. Then there was the post-goth piercing phase, an almost-rivet head phase, which persisted some years, even into my dotage and my playing outside phase (which has also involved more shaving, thanks to cycling).
In retrospect I suspect — heh — that even though the worry of a face plant on my mountain bike or some other such klutzy maneuver in the great outdoors provided the impetus to remove all my facial piercings a few years back, actually it was a matter of timing. I won’t say maturity, exactly, but a matter of age and growth. I had come to realize that I no longer needed to broadcast or demonstrate visibly that I stood out from the crowd. After years of proclaiming this to be so I finally, genuinely didn’t care what other people thought, for the most part. I didn’t care whether they thought I was one of them or not; it didn’t matter; I had finally arrived at that destination after declaring all along the way — sometimes rather loudly — for years that I was already there.
In fact, I seem to have come to a point that I’m, er, pointed in the opposite direction; indeed, I don’t want to stand out, as it often draws unwanted attention — I’ve always been a psycho magnet (some might say it takes one to know one), and when I was decked out in black and sporting metal in my lips and elsewhere, my sphere of psychotic attraction was magnified considerably. For every cool person I met looking like that, I met a lot that were not: the damaged, the needy, the drunk looking for a fight with that which he didn’t understand, etc.
And now that I blend more easily into the background, this happens much less so, and that’s a good thing. It sill happens, just not nearly as much. And it is so much easier to sit back and observe people relatively undetected, pondering their mystery and being amused by their antics (honestly, I’m not as full of myself and pompous as this might make it sound — full of enough of myself to keep a blog, though). Although sitting in a bar by yourself is bound to attract unwanted attention, sooner or later. Of course, it’s also still an effective means of attracting people looking to get laid in a relatively short period of time. Unless one is looking to get laid by a relatively stable person; then it’s not so much.
Oh, and before I forget, to all you Wiccans out there: Happy [tag]Litha[/tag]! Or is it Merry Litha? Not sure what the vernacular is, but the sentiment is the same regardless.