who am i

Who Am I To You?

Who am I to you?

What am I to you?

You cannot answer me,

But in riddles

Once again,

I leave,

Perturbed

Author's Notes/Comments: 

2/10/2018

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Who Am I?

I am a shadow, long gone
I am forgotten, disappointments spawn
I am the weeping, in nights silent hour
From society, who savors the sour
I am the dark, stuck within my fears
I am denied, to them and all who hears
I was a dreamer, now hiding within my sleep
From the all of the promises that I can not keep
I am a shadow, long gone

I loved, and I loved you well.
Even after you challenge me hell
I remember, she parted us, you and I
She kissed your cracks, promising you lies
She left you broken, by the dead
But me, I wanted you by my side, to cherish instead




Author's Notes/Comments: 

An old class assignment I digged up.

It was supposed to be more simple and straightforward.

But I remember, I couldn't help myself from twisting it up

 

Which results with this

 

WHO AM I?

Three events occurred yesterday that served to mystify

As they compelled me to answer a simple question and wonder...Who am I?

 

First, an old friend posted a picture of my class from back in 7th grade

I was delighted by the simple innocence and the smiles we displayed.

 

Skip ahead to last night, on the web, a picture of Deborah and I

At a recent wedding (since 7th grade, 50 years have drifted by).

 

Still last night I applied for a part time job, a process meant to diagram

From the application I was filling out...exactly who I am.

 

I immediately stopped and thought to myself, “Is there any information whereby

I can honestly answer the question posed...exactly who am I?”

 

Am I the boy in that 7th grade picture: 1st column, 7th row from the top?

Or that old guy standing by Deborah wearing a bow tie as a prop?

 

The answer is both...and neither for aren’t we all truly herein

A blend...an amalgamation of every person we’ve ever been?

 

Yes, I’m the young boy in 7th grade, and the old man with the tie

I’m a husband, a father and a Pop Pop, all of these I can’t deny.

 

It seems there are a lot of people mixed up inside of me

And it would be an oversight to view each one separately.

 

For we are constantly developing and, if I’m not mistaken

We’ve already changed immediately after a photograph is taken.

 

Yes, when you think about it, in a life that often passes in a blur

A photo doesn’t tell us who we are...it only tells us who we were.

 

Who I am is a combination of every old photo ever taken of me

That blend with new photos daily and make me who I’m going to be.

 

Perhaps that’s why we love looking at pictures, why they give us so much joy

When we find inside each photograph that little girl or boy.

 

For they help us to appreciate the people we are today

And realize those people in those old photos are never far away.

 

So who am I?  I’m not sure. Today, with some confidence I might proclaim

But ask me again tomorrow...chances are...my answer won’t be the same.

 

As I stood in the store wrestling with this question my head began to throb

 

For I realized, the manager’s watching...and I’ll ever get this job.

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I can’t do girls. Or rather, men are so much easier. With men, what you see is mainly and mostly what you get. They don’t put on a face for every occasion and even when they do, that face is mostly transparent. That’s why women jump on inscrutable men. They make the mistake of thinking they must be hugely deep or wonderfully complex, but usually it's a practiced, but not desperately durable act. Those with a complex outside and an equally fascinating inside are truly few and far between.

 

Now women are just harder work. Most of us put on some kind of social facade.  My emotional antenna is far from perfect, but it bugs me how often the words coming out of peoples' mouths and the emotions they broadcast don't match.  Probably why I didn't have many female friends growing up and don't like meeting groups of strangers for the first time.  Too much to process!  People, especially women seem to fall into 3 main types.

 

1. Those who can put on an act, but it's not convincing enough to fool someone for long.

2. Those who put on a damn good act, impress quite a few folk, but still get caught out by astute observers. The more attractive someone is, the more likely they are to succeed in pulling the wool over your eyes.  Relying on willing suspension of disbelief.

3. Those who are incredibly good at being exactly who everyone else wants them to be - so good, you can't spot that it's an act, OR those who can't help being, or decide it's best to be, exactly who they are.  

 

Let me explain more.

 

Type 1. Amateur facade. You know you've found a type 1 if you've had a conversation that never got past the wafer thin superficial.  They will work through “How to greet and interact with other humanoids” 101. Usually expecting their counterpart to follow the same script. From the very start it's pretty obvious if you're "their kind of person”.  You can see various emotions passing behind their eyes like genuine interest, indifference or discomfort.  If you, like me, have an in-bred sense of the socially appropriate, you are likely to play the game.  Keep on trying to react to what their face is saying while you can see their brain doing the “do they belong in my pigeon hole” equation. Not pleasant.  You first grow out of worrying about the lack of a connection with type 1s, then eventually learn to stop wasting your breath having these conversations.  Blame my "nice" upbringing, but I'm not yet able to just cut my losses and walk away from these conversations.  I can often politely sidestep them, but when I can't I end up feeling like I’ve had a bad Chinese e.g. unsatisfied and regretting that’s £10, or in this case 10 minutes of my life I’ll never get back.

 

Type 2. Superstar facade. Can be quite awe inspiring the effort that goes in to pulling off fabulous.  Sometimes I can respect that, but other times it leaves me feeling amused, confused, pissed off or downright icky cos I can spot the trickles of what they're really thinking which seep out round the edges. It takes a true multiple personality or a Negative type 3 (see below) to have no discernable seepage. This type of person will seek out others like them, who reinforce the value of the persona they've created.   Usually gathering type 1s to fawn over them or other type 2s as validating partners in crime. They will suck up to negative type 3s, but run scared from or be disturbed by positive type 3s because they won't indulge any bullshit to protect their visciously enforced social rules.

 

Type 2s are usually high functioning, superficially successful types who will either blossom later into positive type 3s (if we’re lucky) or spend their middle age bemoaning their lost looks, lost potency, invisibility to the opposite sex or inability to hold down a relationship with powerful, interesting partners. The rub for type 2 ladies is that intelligent men, with a smattering of substance and integrity, will almost always take an attractive positive type 3 over a drop dead gorgeous type 2 in the long term. Men, as I’ve already said, are far more straightforward souls. They may like your act, but their bullshit detector will kick in and they may not know why, but they will eventually find themselves eschewing your beautifully maintained body for the slightly droopy woman from next door who sometimes forgets to brush her hair, but has a genuinely comfortable confidence and a devilish, unselfconscious belly laugh.

 

Type 3. So fake they look real or so real they can't fake.  Type 3 comes in 2 flavours. Negative and Positive. For me the labels work as described below, but if you asked a type 2 they would almost certainly swap those positive and negative labels around, because, bless their misguided hearts, they would love to have the kind of unbreakable desirable social facade a negative type 3 can put together.

 

Negative Type 3. Your negative type 3 is actually a very rare beast. So invisibly fake, but fabulous that besotted type 2s can sometimes get a very nasty shock. Behind the shiny but impenetrable negative type 3 mask can lurk some extremely disturbed people. They will never need a type 2 or type 1. They will be amused by them, amuse them and find them of use, but socially able negative type 3s only really love one person...themself.

 

Negative’s are just not who they appear to be, with almost everyone, almost all the time. They usually have one or more personae which are so well developed, polished, complex and layered that no-one except their parents (some of the time) or another type 3 (occasionally) knows what lies beneath. Mental illnesses like paranoid schitzophrenia would be at the dark end of this type 3 continuum, but the nastiest permutation is your full blown sociopath. That’s when negative spills over into dangerous.

 

Regardless of a woman’s place on the Negative type 3 continuum I can’t be around her. I can't stand it. My spidey senses are permanently tingling without any discernable reason why. Enough to send me into committal and lithium land. Having said this, some relatively benign type 3s can end up as lonely souls able to provoke my sympathy. Sometimes having a face for every occasion, being the ultimate social butterfly and being accepted into any group, can mean they lose all sense of their true self.  Eventually overwhelmed by others' expectations.

 

I once knew a male Negative. He was a very close friend and his ability to be all things to all people drove me mad.  It also nearly drove him mad, but not before it helped him become incredibly socially and professionally successful. Eventually, much to my relief, he worked out who he wanted to be, reigned in his high powered life and climbed to the positive side of the type 3 fence.

 

Positive Type 3s.  So now to the finale of this flagrant bit of stereotyping. Positive type 3s. If it never occured to you to be anything but yourself, or you've tried being someone else and can't do it, you're probably one of these.  To expedite a smooth path through life most can do a reliable type 1 act to keep type 1s happy and ensure that type 2s don’t treat them as a threat. They can also do a good enough type 2 to get what they want for short periods of time, but they're never going to keep it up long enough to really settle down in a type 2 or type 1 dominated world. However, unless born, conditioned or traumatised into it they won't be able to pull off Negative type 3 behaviour.

 

I call this type Positive because of the tendency to face life with a huge dose of openness and honesty.  That, by my yardstick is always preferable to the approaches of the other types. That doesn’t mean that all positive type 3s are good. Truely nasty or disturbed people can have an inability to be any other way, but at least it's easy to spot (unlike an invisbly disturbed Negative).  There are also a subset of Type 3s who are just thick. Too stupid or beligerant to behave appropriately for a given audience or situation (think of the kind of people who say "I just speak my mind!" after spouting something incredibly offensive).

 

Beyond that there are the more common subsets of this type.  Confident Positives and Work in Progress Positives, depending on how life treats them growing up.  Confident positives seem to know from an early age that it's ok to be yourself.  That might be down to having at least one Positive type 3 parent, but some kids just seem to pop out that way.  Understanding inately that any social clics with tortuous membership rules are generally not worth joining. Often the pain of social exclusion bites hardest during adolensence, so even if your type 3 takes a while to find their niche, if they find it before they hit teenagerdom, I'd class them as a Confident Positive.  Beginning that tough phase with friends who value  individuality makes a huge difference to the kind of adult that emerges at the other end.  Often they will be folk happy to be alone, but confident in company.  This isn't about looks or intelligence, far from it, these are just people who've found a place in the word that fits them, rather than changing themselves to fit the world.  That predisposes people to being confident and content, which in turn tends to attact other confident happy people.  The phrase "it's what's on the inside that counts" was coined for these folk.  Your nearest Positive might be your check out lady, bin man or that guy in the wheelchair, but what they have in common is an absolute comfort in their own skin and an ability to make you feel totally comfortable in their company.

 

If you fell into the other Positive 3 subset growing up, you probably had a pretty rough time.  Working your ass off to gain entry to the in crowds.  Constantly getting left on the sidelines because you did't look right, dress right or behave in a way that met their acceptance criteria. Often reading between the lines of what everyone else was saying and doubting your sanity because the words and the intentions didn’t seem to match. Realising that popularity is often not worth the price can take a long time.  A hell of a long time if you manage to graft your way to some kind of half assed admission to one of those groups.  You might have spent years telling yourself it was worth it, before recognising how much effort you put in vs the return you got.  It's a real case of "what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger". 

 

The good news is that positive type 3s, both confident ones and ones still working on that, tend to form friendships characterised by honesty, empathy, longevity, lack of judgement and an ability to be apart for good lengths of time, before returning to the same place they left off.  They also tend to gather more friends as they get older, because 1s and 2s often work out pretending is too much like hard work and come over to the less judgemental Positive side of the fence.  You can even get the odd Negative type 3 convert.  Perhaps trauma, love or age reminds them who they really are and what's important.  If that happens, they can often be deeply inspiring and powerful people because they bring the charisma they built to wow folk in their old life and apply it to their true personality.  It's a hell of a battle to embrace averageness, insecurity and human frailty after forging a path through life by being perfect.  But the knocks from that battle can serve to cement an awesome and attractive depth of confidence.

 

So there's my take on the world.  What type of person are you?

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Flagrant, coherentish stereotyping.