Prosperity

I dream of strip malls. Pretend you're a normal human. You live somewhere between 67 and 124 degrees west, and 25 and 49 degrees north. You're either happily married, or wish you were. You live in an average house in an average neighborhood, or wish you did, and if you don't yet have a kid or two it's only a matter of time. Most of your waking hours are spent in pursuit of the American Dream, and the rest of the time you're asleep, wishing you were asleep, or trying not to fall asleep.

Now pretend you're an abnormal human living somewhere within the same coordinates. You have no particular desire to get married, live in a shanty on the fringes of society, and your progeny, if any, are hiding in undisclosed locations with unlisted phone numbers. Most of your waking hours are spent pondering metaphysical questions, and you consider sleep a waste of time unless astral projection is involved.

If neither exercise required the slightest pretense on your part, you may be (1) practiced in the art of deception, (2) more inclined toward Zen than computer programming, (3) conflicted, or (4) none of the above.

If the fourth choice seems to best describe your actual circumstances, it's also possible the line between normal and abnormal is less a matter of reality than statistics, and is therefore much thinner than some would have us believe. Operating outside the traditional societal framework doesn't necessarily mean that something has gone terribly wrong.

 

2 comments:

  1. Anonymous5:45 AM UTC

    Forgive me please, I may be overstepping something here by assuming that this post is about you. If I'm wrong, please accept my apology and just know that this is a very well written and thought provoking piece.

    If I am correct, then it would seem that if this "abnormal" existence works for you, makes you happy and harms no one then everyone else who chooses to include you within their reality should learn how to deal with it.

    Screw 'em if they can't take a joke.

    What do I know though, I'm just Anonymous.

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  2. I guess it's about me in my much younger days, when conformity seemed a more complex subject than it does today. But it's really aimed at those -- some of whom I know personally, and some not at all -- who struggle against the daily pressure to fit within that appalling bell-shaped curve. "Normal" may be easier, sometimes, but it's never worked particularly well for me.

    Thanks for the thoughtful comments. Anonymous or not, it seems you know right from wrong, which is by no means a universal talent.

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