Episode 9

Visitation, and Balancing the Equations

October 30

I walked in and immediately had to realign myself, for there was much to adjust to. There was of course the intermittent lighting and internally-discombobulating sound waves pervading the open room, but they were not the hardest factor of the environment to adapt to. It was the intrinsic atmosphere itself, like a different element of air, that I had to learn to breathe or wind up suffocating in a corner. I calmly took in my surroundings, slowly familiarizing myself with the situation, but never ridding myself of the inexplicable feeling that I was a trespasser in unfriendly grounds. But weíll get to that feeling later.

Iím not gonna lie. I stood on the sidelines and waited. I take no guilt from this action, it would not be prudent to dive into unfamiliar waters. If an opportunity were to present itself I would take it, otherwise tread lightly. As it happens, clubs like these are not very conducive to the lone passerby. People seem to remain in their tight-knit little groups, impassive to unfamiliar faces. I did not feel excluded, for I knew the risks when I walked in. I did not feel paranoid, nobody seemed to be aware of my presence. There was something else creeping into my consciousness. What a I felt was a hybrid between unwelcome-ness and guilt. The origins of the former are obvious, as this place was definitely not my custom nor my style.

So now why did I feel guilty, standing there, in the shadow, waiting and wondering if anybody was wondering who I was? Why did I feel wrong? Why do I feel wrong just saying that? This is the question that any introvert has to deal with every day. But now I know.

We feel bad because the others tell us we should.

Individualists define themselves largely by their own internal standards (introvert). The socially elite, alternatively, define themselves entirely by comparison to others (extrovert). Because of this, in order to remain mentally elevated, they must arbitrarily compare themselves to others in order to establish superiority, and what better to feel superior to than a group who defines your polar opposite. And because of their loud, uniform voice, their values have become the normal values.

The end result? People who walk their own path are constantly bombarded by an internal and external voice commanding them to be ashamed what they are. And so I stood there, realizing why I felt so uncomfortable, so threatened, so mocked. I was being made to believe that if I didnít join them down there on the floor, I was defective. Thatís why I felt unpleased to be on the outside, thatís why I felt pained to be in the room but out of the crowd. It is because they told me to feel that way.

Well fuck that, and fuck them, and fuck you all who have ever pushed this feeling upon anybody else. I have led an austere life thus far, and I do not regret any of my choices, and I feel perfectly comfortable in the path I have taken. I may not be happy, but I have a honorable pride that I am me, myself, and nobody else, no matter what is expected of me. In fact, most of my discomfort in my situations stems from this impossible delusion of what I should be, caused by this socially-induced guilt.

You all can go straight to hell. What right do you have to tell me how I should feel happy? Iíll define myself how I want to, and you can go ahead and look down on me all you want, point your fingers and stare in disapproval. Now that I know what I know, I promise, Iíll be laughing at you ever step of the way.

Am I glad I went? Yes. Did I get my moneyís worth? Possibly. Will I be going back? Certainly not. Iíve gotten all it can give me.

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