May 30, 2007

little children should be seen and not heard

isn't that what we were told?

I had a lot of nebulous and dodgy rules growing up in my household. strange shifty toes not to be stepped on and it was no mystery who made the rules

And I don't know what age it became clear to me that the only noises truly welcome were squeals of joy, displays of happiness and generalized success, but I got the message loud and clear. If I wanted things to go smoothly, I'd work reasonably hard, be as self sufficient as possible, and pragmatically assess what I really needed vs. wanted. In short, I learned to be relatively inobtrusive.

have I mentioned what an insufferably repressed, angst ridden teenager I was? How very often I answered in monosyllabic curt responses even the most reasonable of questions. damnit, if I was going to leave them alone, couldn't they, at the very least let me be quiet? It's easier to lie with the less you say.
and how much of my energy went into maintaining a stasis that would allow me to persevere through those years until I could get to a new world, where I could be free free free. Where I could be loud or ugly or completely irresponsible? Annoying and demanding? And, possibly, charming and alive in the process?

I try not to think about it because it wasn't their fault. It was as much my fault for shutting up every single time as it was theirs for just wishing I'd pipe it down. And now, now that I am around children more I get it. Children are loud and exhausting and infuriating. So so so demanding even when asking nothing. They are, quite simply a responsibility? What's more draining than that?

damn wonderful adorable lively and loveable creatures

but thats another story, another rant

and so, at any rate. I got away. and I did get loud and ugly and big and annoying and completely irresponsible (well, within limits). I got to know myself, and I allowed others to get to know me.
And sometimes miraculous happened. People liked me, with all my annoying and loud and demanding ways. I had friends. And many of them. And I was free. I was free free free. Free to be me. Praise be. Mhmm.

But lets be clear. It never goes away. And now, well, I hate the kids on the buses who wont move their backpack to let another person sit down, or leave the damn thing on so it keeps whacking someone. I hate it when they are louder than need be and obnoxious and obtrusive.

And I watch my feet carefully and try to only take up my designated seat. And I wonder if I just bumped into that guy at the end of my swim lane. And shit, did I just make you go all the way out of your way? Am I asking too much?
I can escape it. That small part of me that feels I'd be doing everyone a favor if I could just find a way to be as pretty and sweet and happy as possible so that I might just be that much more invisible, that much lighter a load.

And then I hate every pound of my extra flesh and every one of yearning needs. Throw them in a hole. Smash them down. Lock them up and throw away the key. Cough a loud cough every time they cry out from neglect. What? That? Must have been a squirrel on the roof? I didn't hear anything.

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