For someone whose life revolves around words, I find the inability to put emotions into words to be infinitely frustrating, yet there are so many fundamental pieces of myself that I simply cannot express. My feeling of alienation, for one. And yes, I realize that I am hardly the only human who feels alienated.
A lot of it goes back to a recent blog entry on my infinite capacity for being unable to understand so much of life.
I live in a world of heterosexuals, yet I am not heterosexual. I have never been heterosexual. I never will be heterosexual, and I have never for one minute of my entire life ever wanted to be heterosexual. And while I have been raised and lived and worked and socialized with heterosexuals all my life, I have never understood them. All those things heterosexuals simply accept as perfectly normal: grow up, get married, have kids, go to weddings and baby showers…are totally alien to me.
It of course all boils down to the latter half of the words “heterosexual” and “homosexual”: “sexual.” While I consider my lifelong attraction to men to be perfectly natural (for me), I honestly and in all sincerity simply do not and cannot comprehend the physical attraction between men and women and how profoundly it affects their day-to-day functioning. And it is the multiple and complex ramifications of that attraction which rules our world.
Recognizing that heterosexuality is at the very foundation of our race only serves to emphasize that I am not like everyone else. Because of the fact that without heterosexuals our race would perish, and that were it not for my parents being heterosexual, I never would have been born rather strongly sets me apart from the rest of our species. (Yes, I also know I’m not the only homosexual in the world, and I’m sure that many if not most gays and lesbians share my sense of alienation. We are, after all, outnumbered 9 to 1.)
Perhaps this sense of alienation is something inbred into everyone, and we, being individuals, simply don’t realize it. The old saying “No man is an island” isn’t exactly true. We are all islands in a vast sea of the unknown. Each of us goes through life only really knowing ourselves (and it can be effectively argued that most people can’t really even say that).
I suppose it is only natural, because we each experience problems and frustrations and an infinite number of stumbles and glitches and niggling little irritations, not to realize that everyone else goes through the same thing. Few people, forced to resorting to using a pipe wrench to open a stubborn jar lid, mention the fact to others. So we look around at everyone else happily holding up opened jars and never give an instant’s thought to how many pipe wrenches might actually have been involved.
We are led, from infancy, to believe that the world is a far more homogenous place than it is, and that anything out of what we are led to believe is the ordinary, means we and we alone in experiencing this or that particular situation. Nobody else seems to have any real problems. Everybody else seems to breeze through life calmly, always knowing how to react in any given situation. Few people seem to question the status quo. (“I can’t do this? Okay.” “That isn’t allowed? Okay.”)—in fact, few people question anything. Saves a lot of thinking that way.
All of which does little to change my belief that I am truly set apart from the rest of the world.
As James Thomson's wonderful poem “Once in a Saintly Passion” says... “Then stooped my guardian angel, and whispered from behind: 'Vanity, my little man: you’re nothing of the kind.'”
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