Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is:  strange/stranger/strangest.” 

I am the ubiquitous sojourner, the ever present other, Gershom, a Stranger in a Strange Land (a book I keep meaning to read). In the socially crucial high school years I was the annual new girl, constantly trying to figure out ways to fit in and just as I contorted and grasped it we moved to another place. Even younger, when I felt estranged in my own nest, I never really considered the prospect that I was adopted, for even then I could not picture my parents ever being that altruistic to something or someone with no obvious benefits to themselves. I simply didn’t belong. I grew adept at squeezing into small, solitary, hidden spaces. You’d think with age I’d mellow into a kind of grace where if, not exactly an insider, that I would shrug and accept it, go with the flow, and get all Zen with the anomie. You’d think. I sit in my cubicle and listen to conversations about hunting, Nascar, Dancing with the Stars, and children’s soccer games and have no way to join in, nor, to be honest, any real desire to be able to join in. I sit hidden in my cubicle and listen as people discuss a family member being sent to Dubai, and the entire office breaks into multi-layered discussion about, “Where? I never heard of it.” “Where is it?” and I sit quietly mentally answering their questions, silent and unseen behind my flimsy wall.  Not long ago in a room filled with quite a few Gen X and Millennials, when a video display was borked for quite a while, distorting the image into large cubes, no one even registered a bit of understanding when I joked, “Minecraft!” It’s really only in writing that I admit to poetry, computer games, a desire to revisit calculus for fun. The reluctant outsider. The person who totally understands Woody Allen’s shtick about not wanting to belong to any club that would have him.

 

5 Comments

  1. I’m nodding my head. Not to many people outside of WordPress “get” me either. Sure I have kids, but I can’t talk to other parents because mine are different. And for my job – I’m a mother and a novelist. Yeah, find another one of those next door. 😛 All part of the reason I’m so happy there is a WordPress. 🙂

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  2. Well I shall reply I found your entry fascinating in the way you portrayed your life to me. I think there are lots of people who, in work situations find it difficult to join in conversations around people who seem to find conversation so easy, I am a bit like you on the outside looking in. I thought it was Groucho Marx who said that line you quoted at the end. Enjoyed your post.

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    1. You sparked a Google search. You’re right. Groucho said it first. He was a bit before my time so I heard it in Allen’s “Annie Hall” (one of my favorite movies). It is a great line and sadly, applicable to me in so many ways.

      I think there are a lot of us feeling on the outside looking in. Part of me hopes so. Otherwise, everyone is only interested in Nascar and hunting and that’s just a scary thought. 🙂

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