I was in junior college, I believe, when I met this guy from school on the way to college. We’d never talked. He was the kind of guy who was always in the spotlight, for good or for bad. But he was a decent lad.
As we walked towards the campus we shared, he pulled his headphones and started listening to the blaring music. I was fine with it; it had gotten awkward, the silence. He bobbed his head and stamped his foot and waved his hand about in rhythm with his music. He seemed like he was absolutely enjoying himself.
And I thought he was weird to be doing that in public. I distinctly remember falling a few steps behind so that people don’t think I’m with him. He continued doing that all the way to the college building, and even then he stopped just to wave me good bye, and went on with his music and hand gestures and head-bobbing.
I thought he was just so odd to be doing that in public. I never realized I just envied him and his freedom. I was super envious of that fact that he could just plug his ears and not give a single hoot about the world around him or what people thought about him.
In all fairness, I was fresh out of school. I was a geek in school, so for me, it was absolutely vital to be seen as the cool kid in college if I didn’t want a repeat telecast of my school days. I was all focused on how to draw attention the right way. Be cool, be charming, don’t be weird, don’t be ‘unique’; merge in but also stand out. I wasn’t about to listen to my music and bob my head and stamp my foot and enjoy myself, even though I so badly wanted to. It was all I wanted to do.
But of course I didn’t. Not until quite some time after. Now, I do. Now I know better.
The other day I was getting back from work in the local train. I have to change trains so it takes me about 40-45 minutes to get from home to work. On my way back, as soon as I boarded the train, I was hit with the realization that I had forgotten to pull my zipper up after the last pee break I took before leaving work. Come on, let’s move on. Happens to the best of us, okay!
So obviously I freaked. There was a girl standing in front of me and I figured I could use her as a screen and pull the zipper up quickly. As I pulled my zipper up without looking like a complete pervert (it was a feat, mind you), these two girls standing next to me scrunched up their faces and whispered “Weird.”
Now, I know for a fact that they knew all I had done was pull my zipper up. But that’s weird? No hon, what would be weird was if I chose to ride the local train 40 minutes away from my work place with my zipper down. That’d be weird.
I don’t understand the whole obsession people have with bringing weird people down. It’s stupid. Because one isn’t like you, you want them to conform to your standards? That’s mindlessly inane.
So, I just want to put this out there. In The Web. If you’re weird, it’s okay. It’s more than okay. It is mind-bogglingly beautiful. It is fantastic and I adore you if you’re weird.
EMBRACE. YOUR. WEIRD.
As for the boy from school, you know who you are. Thanks so much.
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