Why am I Here?

I did something stupid the other day. I stumbled across the Facebook page of the guy who stalked me. Part of it was accident, but the part where I recognized the name and clicked through is on me.

He lives, generally, in the same place he did when I knew him. He has the same kind of job he had in high school.

Now that I’ve been around the block a few times, it’s obvious to me that he was mentally ill. I don’t want to brush off the stalking, which pretty well fucked me up from there on out, as just him being “crazy.” I think he would have always been the kind of guy who thought the world owed him the woman of his choosing, regardless of her wishes. But I imagine he would have been more on the “women only like jerks and not me” end of things, not on the “Breaking into your house to leave you a different brand of grape pop, because I don’t like the brand you drink” end.

I guess I’m making light of things. I thought he was going to kill me. I think he thought he was going to kill me. It wasn’t just silly home break-ins. He kidnapped the Butcher, briefly.

But the point is that I think the entitlement helped organize his thoughts, gave him something clear to work for and to do with himself, even when nothing else in his mind was clear.

So, I do have sympathy for him at that level. I can believe that he was suffering, too.

Anyway, that’s a long preamble to the point I wanted to make. He’s still working the same kind of job he had in high school. Everything else about him aside, he was one of the smartest people I ever met (though the Butcher says that, at 17, I may have been mistaking “loud” for “smart”).

I always thought that, if I somehow discovered that this was his life, I’d feel like some kind of justice had been served. But the truth is that I’m not sure why that’s not my life. Maybe this goes back to why I just get so frustrated with this idea that talent is somehow uncommon and thus talented people, no matter what else they do, have to be tolerated. Everyone is talented.

Why is this my life and that his?

I don’t know. I really don’t. The Butcher says it’s because I try things. But I experience myself as being terrified of almost everything and just doing the things I’m less terrified of doing than I am of not doing. I don’t feel like I’m motivated by any positive goals. I don’t want anything. I don’t want to get married. I don’t want to have kids. I don’t want some ideal career. I have no goals.

I just don’t want to be stuck back there.

My whole life is just me saying “no” and learning to make it stick.

Ha, honestly, that’s why this whole writing thing is so tough for me. It is the exception. It’s the one thing I do want. I want to write a book someone else publishes. I want to write something that makes people say “Whoa.” I want to fucking crack myself open against the mystery of the universe and see if anyone else thinks what comes pouring out is cool.

But why am I here and not there? Just fear? I don’t think fear can propel a person through a whole life.

I get why people settle on “Well, I deserve it” or “Well, that’s just God’s plan.” Because the world being a confusing place that makes no sense, where some people get really lucky and others don’t, is not very comforting.

Mind Blown

Today on Twitter I saw a pie chart that shows what Americans think the racial make-up of our country is–about a quarter black, a quarter Hispanic, and a little less than a quarter white (roughly)–versus what it actually is–not a white minority, by any stretch.

And someone had commented something about the “wisdom of crowds.”

I laughed, but, yeah, the crowd isn’t wiser than individuals just based on some great crowd magic.