Doctor Strangemind, or: How I learned to Stop Worrying about Normality

It baffles me how so many people can abridge the complexities of an individual into a single word. One person asks what a certain someone is like, and they simply reply, “Oh, Tom? Tom is the nicest guy.” to an obligatory reply of “Oh, fascinating, I’ll have to meet him!” But why, really, when all that’s been told about Tom is that he’s nice and male? For the most part, adjectives are inert and vague, and yet using one or two generally seems to satisfy most amateur psychoanalyses. “He’s wonderful!”, or “He’s a jerk”, or, “She’s crazy!” With as much elaboration as God has put into designing wonderfully crazy jerks, he must be offended.

The most derisory of these ambiguous terms is easily the word “weird.” Sometimes replaced by odd, bizarre, different, strange, and peculiar, nothing is more offensive to the hypothetical Tom than for someone to say “Oh, Tom? He’s weird.” Let’s pretend for a second that anyone cares enough to ask, “How so?,” leaving the hypothetical describer to now explain how Tom believes that reptiles control the earth, enjoys dressing in women’s clothing and will soon be named Emily. Maybe it’s revealed that Tom is a pardoned serial killer who ritualistically nails cow entrails to his ceiling, or maybe he just listens to strange, operatic jazz-fusion bands from France. Either one is fairly weird, but I think my friend Cory and a cow’s equivalent to Ed Gein are at least somewhat distinguishable from each other. Really, of all types of people, the most enigmatic and interesting are the weird ones, and ironically we seem more subject to unfair cataloging than anyone else.

My sympathy goes out to the poor, strange, multi-persona Tom, for on many occasions I’ve been dubbed “weird.” I recall first falling victim to such subjection in eighth grade. The math teacher had been absent from the room for about fifteen minutes, and in that time the class of preteens had been discussing a variety of life’s most trying issues, ranging somewhere from Britney Spears to Captain Underpants comic books. A student sitting next to me-we’ll call him Billy-had become a nice acquaintance of mine. For the last ten minutes, I’d been explaining to him the brilliance of Pink Floyd and the symbolism of their masterwork, “The Wall.” He didn’t seem to care too much.

“You’re weird.” he said. His tone was dead and purely observant, not critical but certainly absent of any sort of reverence. I gazed back at him in a similar way, my mouth drooping open much like his.

“Why?” I asked him.

“Nobody says things like that.”

“Like what?”

“Whatever you said. Symbalick, and something about walls and being lonely or something. Nobody talks about things like that. You’re weird.”

I was confused and more offended than I’d been thus far in my short life. He hadn’t paid any attention to what I’d said; just how strange it was that I’d said it. Needless to say, I punched Billy directly in the mouth.

Well, no, I didn’t. Actually, I stopped talking to him and never even noticed him again. He seemed to have disappeared, as if my strangeness had discomforted him straight into nothingness. Before ceasing to exist, though, he managed to have quite the affect on me, for I had yet to hear anything so shallow in my life. From then on the word “weird” was a compliment, because it separated me from his narrow worldview, and I was forever liberated, if not slightly detached, from everyone else who strived to be normal. However, I still remain a bit troubled by the laughable attempts the normies make at understanding us weirdoes.

The adjective “weird” is a valid one. I am weird. But I’m a lot more, too. I’m a writer, a bassist and a self-proclaimed artist, and a mystic who hates religion. I love philosophy, poetry and comedy, dystopic novels and off-color jokes, and perhaps even recanting Reptilian conspiracies over the chaos of my favorite French fusion/opera group while sewing homemade dresses from cow intestines. I might as well, anyways. To anyone who looks at me, says “He’s weird” and immediately quits thinking, there really isn’t a difference.

Doctor Strangemind, or: How I learned to Stop Worrying about Normality

Breathe

Joined January 2008

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Artist's Description

An essay written for English, limited by a two-page requirement. Not really a comedic piece, but possessing a bit of sarcasm and absurdity. I’ve nowhere else to show it.

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