A Stranger

As if that blind rage had washed me clean, rid me of hope; for the first time, in that night alive with signs and stars, I opened myself to the gentle indifference of the world. Finding it so much like myself—so like a brother, really—I felt that I had been happy and that I was happy again. For everything to be consummated, for me to feel less alone, I had only to wish that there be a large crowd of spectators the day of my execution and that they greet me with cries of hate. – Albert Camus

My alienation is self-inflicted.

Which is merely a self-congratulatory way of me saying I’m in control of my own pit of social ostracism. I’m telling you, I choose this pathetic fucking existence. I came to that conclusion the other day while driving to work or brushing my teeth or making an over-easy egg. I don’t know what I was doing. But I know what I thought.

Whereas some people are tormented by a deranged and helpless pall of alienation, my alienation is all my own doing.

Some people inherit peculiar character defects which render them unsocialized and interpersonally helpless. A pathology of character bestows upon them the inability to relate to people in a normal every day context of mass interactions. Many times, their aloofness betrays a chilling lack of warmth or humane cohesion.

No, my alienation is self-initiated.

I’m not alienated for lack of social skills or friendliness or even warmth; my alienation is carried on the wings of a set of rigorous lifestyle rules and principles which do not allow me to partake in the common physical and mental comforts of the normal civilized person.

You see, life is like a very large adolescent group of high schoolers which form a self-perpetuating herd which systemically but obliquely creates its own mores and expectations of behavior and mannerisms. The herd shapes culture and society. The herd designs the blueprint which all conforming members are urged to follow by insinuation; a road map guiding these unthinking and diligent followers and “sustainers” of the paradigm. As such, members are expected, at the very least, to fulfill and mimic a certain measure of behavioral requirements in order to solidify their tenuous standing in mainstream society.

My focus is at odds with the high school herd.

I suppose I could find the common ground and plant myself there. If that’s what I wanted.
I might easily locate it and lazily follow the worn path and relinquish my principles (wrong or right is not important) in order to wear the weary facade of popular culture. I can like and enjoy what others like; or I can act as such. I can move like others move and recite rote reactions as learned on MTV or expressed from the disjointed pseudo-intellect of a modern celebrity shining vainly in front of the humming camera.

This alienation pains me, believe it or not.
I do not bask in it nor do I proclaim it with pride.
It’s a lonely road, full of sharp stones and puddles of murky water.

This is no life for the noble.