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12:39 p.m. - September 21, 2003
I don't know what the hell I'm talking about
Church illuminates well the alienation within myself and between myself and others. Many people know my name and say how happy they are to see me, ask about Washington, D.C., inquire into whether I have post-church lunch plans and give me big hugs demonstrating camaraderie, if not pleasure, in seeing me. AndI smile, hug back, make small talk, open my eyes wide when I hear about the anonymous two million dollar gift last Sunday, and sociological observers perched on the wall would think, Here is a man amidst a community and if they are ehtnographic sociologists, perhaps declaim and with some status as well, and clearly brushes his teeth and flosses, too and that would be it: There would be nothing else to note, nothing else to catch the eye, to distinguish a stranger and a friend.

Invited to the men's group Wednesday nights and as I always have, I say I work, and wonder whether they see though the camouflage. I don't attend the men's group because I don't feel I belong or have a place either in the faith sub-community or in the surrounding male gender. How silly and fatuous to say that I don't feel like a man but there it is, palpable and heavy. I don't belong anywhere, lack the ability to grow roots with places and people both.

And evidently it's all in my head which is even more confusing; at least if people turned their backs when I approached, I could differentiate between external and internal schemas, but people come to me despite my coldness, despite lacking good conversational skills. Can I - again - chalk it up to childhood and that urge for self-preservation domineering the less-strong urges for companionship for fear of vulnerability? And I'm beginning to suspect that urge emits pheremones that guys the likes of Spec and Ryan pick up on, a chemical formula one part gullibility, one part boi-ism, two parts yes-I'll-let-you-push-me-around.

So what am I really saying? Am I talking myself into re-imaging the schema to accommodate desultory solitude much like the wolf, or am I coming to terms with knowing some people are meant to be alone and make that aloneness work? Nascent hypotheses aside, the pattern fits: Jason struggles to trust people, ergo Jason has no people. Jason struggles, period.


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