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Friday, March 21, 2014

No Exit

I read an interesting passage today. I guess you could say it was about the disillusionment that accompanies aging. It generally happens to us all. The strange thing is that I was one of the few who it came early to.

I was always so jealous of other kids growing up. They always seemed to get the things I was denied. They had more than one friend, people talked about them in a positive light, they were thrown parties, they received presents, went on trips and vacations, were happy and smiled all the time, not like me at all. I was always very reserved, even melancholy. I kept to myself, didn't talk much, and was never included in anything. It was like there was this big party and everyone was invited. They were all participating in some grand game with each other, yet I was off to the side. I was the one peering through the window wondering what it was like to be inside. I was envious, but not maliciously so. True, I did wish to be part of the fun, but I held no malice for the ones who were. I just wanted to join them is all. I wanted something, anything, to happen to me. Something special I could talk about as being a member. I wanted to be able to come into school talking about how over the weekend my parents threw me a party and everyone was there and it was so much fun. I wanted an interesting life, too. I wanted stories to tell. Sitting alone in my room or walking alone through town didn't captivate audiences as much as a vacation to France. I was boring, tasteless. I didn't have any clue what was popular or why it was. It's like there was this secret club and the only rule was no Tony's allowed.

I will admit to being a bit resentful about the whole thing. That was, until I had a taste for it myself. When I finally had a party of my very own I wasn't happy at all. I expected so much, yet when I was in the thick of it, surrounded by people with a large cake staring me in the face, all I wanted to do was disappear. I hated it. I wanted to run away the entire time. I did not enjoy being the center of attention. It was all so stupid and cheap. I looked around and thought, "These people don't care one lick for me. It's all an illusion. They're all pretending to be happy, and to be happy for me. It's the event that they really care for. The ability to say 'I was there. I was invited, and it was soooo great. Too bad YOU weren't there.' It's all some twisted game of bragging rights. They're trying to lie themselves to happiness." Needless to say, I was disappointed.

It didn't end there. The presents I got were all wrong. They weren't things I wanted. These people didn't know me at all. They had no idea what I liked. They brought things just to bring things. Then came minor inclusion to the circles I so naively desired to join. The conversations that seemed so enjoyable on the outside were now trite and callow. The things that were popular were popular for no reason. It wasn't long before I was ousted from the group and alone again. They don't like it when you boldly reveal the triviality of everything they hold dear. I couldn't help it. I was just being honest. When asked why something was so great, they would give me a dirty look and respond that it is great because it is, and if I couldn't see it, then something was wrong with me. I unintentionally parted the curtains and exposed the wizard. Certain things were liked not because they were likable, but because someone said they were cool and likable. None of the people actually enjoyed what they said they did, and they would die before admitting it.

So at a very young age, I became disillusioned to the whole thing. My whole perception of the world came crashing down. Things looked a bit darker from then on. It is a game most of you still play. It is the reason for celebrity worship and extravagance. Everyone is too afraid to accept the simple truths of life. Everyone is afraid to give up hope for that happily ever after. The reason they can trudge through this world with a smile on their shit-stained teeth is they believe if they try hard enough, if they fake it long enough, they can be genuinely happy. And one day if they play the game well enough, maybe, they will be admitted into one of the upper circles where everyone is happy all the time.

So have your lavish parties, your grand weddings, your smelly children, and don't forget to tell everyone how happy you are. I'll be over here laughing and enjoying life in a way you will never understand.

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