January 21, 2004

Background, part 1

It's always at the dark watches of the night that I feel like starting these things out. I've been cranking on this for a combined hour or so throughout the day (thank you Wheeler for upping the ante and Anna for following suit.) As with Wheeler's, there is no way I'm going to get all of this into one post, so let's hope it makes sense as a part of a whole...

A proper understanding of my social interactions with others should find its start at the root causations and work its way to the present or, simply put, begin at the beginning. Granted, my memories from extreme early childhood are fragmented and incomplete, but I remember something of a conflicting dichotomy between my internal world and the external reality. Few people realize that I've had a very active imagination for a very long time... as I'm sure many do. Mine's just a bit odd reaching from way back.

At some point in this dichotomy, I began to acheive ridicule for my odd affectations due to my excited imagination. Upon becoming excited, I would do odd things like wiggle my fingers and toes. Granted, most of these behavioral tics were quickly unlearned, but I still caught a lot of grief and teasing from them. Combined with early abuse over my larger-than-average head and I began to realize that I was not like the rest of the world and learned of their cruelty.

There comes a point in every individual's life where he/she realizes uniqueness and a lack of total commonality in thinking. In my own life, I believe this occurence hit fairly early on, relatively speaking. My first real encounter with foreign thought processes was with my brother Geoff learning his letters. Myself, I never remember learning letters and I have it on good authority that this was early knowledge and that I always enjoyed this sort of thing. My middle brother, on the other hand, had them drilled to him the summer before he started kindergarten and believe me, he didn't appreciate his lessons one bit. It was then that I started to suspect that there were people who didn't love learning as much as I did.

During 2nd grade and even more in 3rd grade, the naivete really wore off. While I continued to be (at least in my own mind) friends with everyone, there were conflicts that occasionally arose in a manner that might be construed as serious. I mean, since time immemorial the noble boys had carried out the great Jihad against the feeble and gross girls, but besides that conflicts began to arise between those who felt that they were in some way intellectually superior.

It might be pertinent to point out that a lot of my arrogance dates back to this point in time, when I went to a pathetic excuse for a public school and was one of perhaps 5 kids in my grade who was really ahead of everyone else. And of course, being as that my natural inclination has always been learning and since at this time I was very driven to be the best, I tended to end up getting the top score on just about every test... and our teachers did me the ego assistance of noting the top score. So yes, I can be arrogant... but it has typically come from honestly knowing that I'm the best at something.

It was near this point in time (in 3rd grade or so) that I began to notice some traits in myself that I really didn't like. I had come to like to hear myself talk and I had affected this very sure tone of voice that implied that if someone thought I was wrong, he or she was clearly at error. I also noticed that I tended to get stressed out very easily over stupid little things and since the discipline for the poor behavior of others was frequently meted out upon the entire class, this stress frequently tied up my stomach in knots in an effort to control everything.

So, there you have it... by the ripe and developed age of the end of 3rd grade, I had developed a sort of intellectual arrogance and was very convinced that I was the smartest person of my age and was a better thinker than anyone else (my age) I knew. That, combined with an increasing reluctance to hear myself talk and an appreciation that the world of books was far more informative than my classmates drove me to introspection and isolation.

In hindsight, I had friends in the manner which 3rd-graders perceive friendship and was even fairly well-liked by these associates. Granted, by this time I had developed into quite an anomaly amongst my friends, but most of my hubris was internal and I tried to be an agreeable and helpful enough fellow. I had developed a good friendship with a boy named Tim who went to my church and we got along splendidly.

It was in much this manner I plodded through my 4th-grade year until about fall. I don't remember the day or even the month, but it seems like it was about fall when my father told me we were going to be moving to New York. I remember that we were on Miles road as it zigs and zags through the woods close to my along a creek bed and we were on our way home from Tim's house. And that, friends, is when the Cynic was conceieved, so to speak.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at January 21, 2004 08:42 PM | TrackBack