Note: Part of the “Scenes of a Life” Stories.
I sat quietly watching people. I wonder how many of them knew how lucky they were to not have to wonder if they were normal. How many have ever questioned things so basic to their being? Am I a… or a…? Do I love… or…?
No most of them don’t know. They just walk around blissfully unaware of how little they really know about themselves. Sometimes I remember what it was like. Of course ignorance was not bliss for me; it was endless torture of not knowing the right questions to ask. Something was different about me but I didn’t have the concepts to understand what. But I found books with new ideas and I learned new words. Once I knew what was wrong I could look back and see clearly what had eluded my mind’s grasp.
A ‘random’ collection of books became a clue. Certain movies I liked became clues. Pages in reference books that I read and reread became clues. My deepest darkest desires became clues. Denial is not just a river in Egypt; it’s a state of mind so powerful it can make you blind to the train barreling down on you.
A mother walks behind her toddling son. He walks unsteadily, half falling with every step laughing at some joke only he is privy to. Does she know how lucky she is? Would she understand if I explained it to her? Maybe but probably not. They pass me and I resist to urge to turn and watch the child until he is out of sight.
A boy and girl stroll by. The girl leans against the boy. The boy places an arm around the girl’s shoulders. Do they understand how fate has gifted them? How they are ‘blessed’ to be ‘normal’?
“Hey ,” Richard said jolting out of my slow spiral of depressing thoughts.
“Hi,” I said back while looking up at him.
“You alright?” his forehead wrinkled as his brows pulled together.
“Yeah, just thinking.”
“What about?” he asked as he slid into the seat across from me.
“Nothing,” I said evasively.
“Seemed like something was worrying you.” Not a direct question but a leading statement to make me open up.
“It’s nothing. Nothing I want to talk about.” I said hoping he understands that it isn’t him I don’t want to talk to but me I don’t want to talk about.
“Ok.” He sounds unsure but lets it drop. “So just how bad is this movie are we going to see?”
The tightness I didn’t know was there released from my chest and I smile, “It’s so bad that Cynthia won’t even watch the trailers for it. She changes the channel or leaves the room.”
“Wow, that’s pretty bad,” he runs a hand through his hair and scratches the back of his head for second, “Are you sure you want to see it in the theater? You don’t want to wait for the DVD?”
“Um Hmm,” I hummed as I nodded my head.
“Cause it’ll bug Cynthia if I add the ticket stub to ‘the wall’.” The wall wasn’t really a wall it was just four poster boards taped together. It was a long term “art project” of Cynthia’s. Basically when ever we saw a movie in a theater we kept the stub and taped it on the poster board. Of course you couldn’t just stick a stub anywhere. You placed it according to how much artistic merit the movie had(from left to right) and how much you enjoyed the movie(from bottom to top).
Cynthia was pretty picky about what movies she watched so the bell curve skewed a bit to the right but I liked trashy low budget ‘bad’ movies for the fun that could be had making fun of them. I was slowly building second hill on the left. It was hard work since so many ‘bad’ movies have small releases or don’t hit the theaters at all and they were only worth watching if you had someone with you. It was rare that I got to add a movie to ‘my grouping.’
“If you don’t want to see the movie with me you could go see something else alone,” I told him.
“Hmm, see a bad movie with you and annoy Cynthia or see a good movie alone. Not much of a choice is it?” he said grinning. “So what’s the name of this movie?”
“Asteroids. It’s based on the video game,” I said with my own grin.