Freak Like Me

Freak Like Me

From the Desk Of The Soul Stealing Ginger
April 30, 2013

It was a morning like any other as I walked out of the garage to leave for work.  For some reason, I paused to look out at the sky over the neighborhood pond.  The sun was making interesting colors on what remained of the mist.  High above the tree line, where the mist had already burned off, was a single contrail in the sky.

For a brief moment, my heart soared.  It sometimes does that when I see a lonely plane escaping for something else.

I suppose it reminds me of two freedom birds that were so significant in my young life.  Birds from long ago that carried me away from surreal dystopias and took me back to a normal life.

Today marked the end of the fourth month of my own personal "return to normalcy".  Warren Harding, for all his faults, had much to recommend him.  He supported women's suffrage and alcohol interests, but far and away, his greatest contribution was that magical phrase "return to normalcy".

Normalcy can mean anything.  Or nothing.  Nobody can truly explain what normal is, but they all know normal when they see it.  Most people embrace normalcy for normalcy's sake -- it is just the what one does.

Even I can recognize normal, but I've never embraced it.  I've always been on the edges of it.  A little weird.  A little off.  Not quite on the same sheet of music that all the normal people were playing from.  But then most people have a little something like that.  Something that makes them a unique and special snowflake.  Different.  Weird.  Not normal.  Most people try to hide that.  I embrace it.

I could have embraced my life-long lack of normalcy in the usual destructive ways: facial tattoos; drug abuse; prison time; et al.  Instead, I tried always to identify the rules and boundaries of the prevailing normal.  It is easier to break the rules when you know what they are.  Easier to trespass the boundaries when you have them clearly defined.  I built a life of happy coexistence with normalcy while never allowing it to keep me from  following my own path.

The worst part of the last thirteen years were the efforts of the (soon to be) ex-wife to make me conform to her vision of normal.  Life with her was a daily grind of making excuses for my preferences, of walking on eggshells to avoid setting off her not normal alarms, of suppressing my own identity for a moments peace.  It is scary how much of what I consider uniquely me I was willing to give up, just to avoid rocking her boat.

She almost succeeded.

She almost crushed my spirit.

She melted the unique and special snowflake that is me until it was almost ready to mix with the other, nondescript water.

The worst part of the last thirteen years was that she furled my freak flag.

I push the button to put the top down for the drive to work.  Lizzy Hale gets queued up on the iPod, she seems appropriate for my thoughts.

If you're a freak like me,
Wave your flag!
If you're a freak like me,
Don't Apologize,
They can't hold you down, 
You were broke to rise!

The air is still crisp with the mist, but the sun is starting to shine through.  Today will be a good day.

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