Crisp New Pages – Episode 2

Entry 43.1.12 – 10/08/2013

 

 

Why not you? Why not?

I will tell you why. Nothing ever allowed to come to fruition. You never can start anything. With other people that is.

Today at the laundromat though, you said hello to someone. To a woman. Of course she said hello first. That’s a given. This is you we’re talking about. But you responded. You responded. And quite well I might add. At least you think so.

“Hello”, she said, which startled you. So out of the ordinary. There she was, a woman about your age, a hippie for sure. Striped tights, the maroon corduroy skirt, olive drab surplus shirt, and hair that smelled of incense. It was like she was wearing a uniform. We are a long way from San Francisco, both in time and space, but here she was and so friendly. They are an open bunch those hippies. Backward and juvenile, yes, but open.

“Hello”, you said.

“I think your machine just finished”, she said.

“Oh, thank you. I should take them out I suppose” you said.

She smiled and nodded. Can you believe it? A conversation with no awkwardness. Not on your part or hers.

You are used to the recoil, Gerald. They never think you can see it so they don’t think they are being rude but you see it. You see a lot. You are more perceptive then most people think.

“Uh, hi Gerald, how are you”, they ask? Their bodies tense and eyes wide with false interest. Wide and unsure about how this interaction will go. Man, woman, child, you know they don’t actually care how you are and they know it too. They just hope that their fake sincerity rings true. It doesn’t but they tried. Which is more than you can usually say for yourself. Most of the time you just say nothing. Why do you do that? You can’t blame them for their apprehension.

The woman in the laundromat was of the rare variety who considered you normal. Normal from the start. She talked to you as if you were just any old person. No recoil, no falseness. She talked to you and you talked to her. Briefly, yes, but you had a conversation. You are making progress. I think I’m coming out of my shell a bit. Sweet, sweet Linda would be proud. You’ll have to tell her on your next date night. You know she will love to hear it.

Maybe you’ll see your laundry hippie again. We all have to wash. We all have to clean our dirty things. She will probably be back. When you see her you are going to try to talk first. Seriously. You are going to say hello first. You may even ask her how she is doing. You can do that. You know you can. Maybe you will ask for her name.

Those are big steps. Maybe too big. We will see.

This life has been yours for as long as you have had life. You are weird, you are strange, you are different. That is what the nicest have always said. “Gerald is just different.” But that’s not what Momma said. She was always honest with you. She always tried to fix you.

“Gerald, my special boy”, she’d say, “you can’t keep doing such strange things and expect the other children to understand. They aren’t obligated to like you just because you exist. The school may force them to play with you but they aren’t going to ever like it unless you make yourself into someone worth liking.” Momma was always right. You wish you could have figured out how to be liked. That way Momma would not have had to be so rough.

I’m still working on that Momma. I promise.

It’s true you are special. Of course no one can see that. You don’t let them see. Someday soon though, maybe you’ll open up the shutters and show the world just how special you are. Maybe someone will take your journals and publish them. Maybe these will be your autobiography when you are famous.

No. That cannot be allowed. Ever.

You have suffered a long time Gerald. It’s your fault. Momma tried to fix you but couldn’t. You owe it to her to finish what she started. You can do that can’t you?

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