Yes, it was me.

I was that guy visiting your hometown and clogged up your favorite local restaurant, needing the waitress to come back three times before just getting the chicken fingers. I was that big guy in a SpongeBob t-shirt cruising Atlantic City’s boardwalk with matching family members. I was the guy standing in awe of Times Square, fresh out of the giant ToysRUs, grinning harder than my kids. I was that guy attempting to take pictures of fireworks and concerts from the cheap seats. I was that moreno that lived in Costa Rica for a few years and didn’t pick up a lick of Spanish beyond how to barely order chorizo from the butcher. I’m that guy that got excited upon seeing refrigerator magnets in a gift store of any tourist attraction.

I’m also the guy that doesn’t comb his wicked hair before going to the grocery store in the morning. I’m the guy that tries to give you a pair of Crocs that I ordered too small in error like it was something you’d ever be caught dead in. I’m the guy that sings the 80s songs playing on the store’s PA system while grocery shopping. I’m the guy that gets every superhero movie’s obscure references that you hear chattering away as if examining a crime scene. I’m the guy that reminds everyone at work that a meteor shower is imminent as if you didn’t have plans to be unconscious at 4:00am. I’m the guy that can never talk about Empire or GoT but never misses an episode of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.

I’ve drawn so many peculiar looks for so many years, and I couldn’t care less. Y’know why? After shooting up to over 6” at thirteen, my life of being overlooked has been over for decades. Throw in the way I talk (riddles shot through a thesaurus), the things I’m about (comic books, astronomy, LEGOs, etc) and the way I look (part pharaoh, part Sasquatch, part homeless man), you’ve got someone that draws unprecedented attention. I’m always being thought of as either a jackass or a unicorn. Some stare at me as if my uncertain ethnicity was presented to them as a question for them to contemplate, with “what?” or “whatever” being the typical answer. The most frequent remark I get from people after they get to know me is “I had you ALL wrong”, for better or for worse. No matter how normal I may feel on the inside, the outside world has labeled me a freak for merely being me. I guess it fits.

Am I telling you this to garner sympathy? Hell naw. I live a purposeful life, full of love and laughter. My woes I couldn’t count on my toes, so if anything I feel luckier than most of the population. This narrative has a two-fold purpose: to awaken the unnecessary hiding of one’s true self for a world that makes up its mind before you ever came along, and to perhaps sound off for the freaks that draw far more unwarranted attention than I ever could. Once I shut my trap long enough and bother to comb my hair, most people enjoy seeing me coming their way. However, there’s a fever pitch building in this country that demands normality out of extraordinary people, mainly to justify the cowardice of the conformed and the confused. The constant suppression of one’s true self can only manifest in the anger and rejection of those that are different, even striking our most vulnerable citizens for the most arbitrary reasons.

The main thing is, if your focus so heavily on what others are doing or being, then you’re not the star of your own story. Nobody asked you to step out of your spotlight and they definitely didn’t ask for an audience for theirs, regardless if you think their mere being is aggressively ascending onto your sensibilities. It’s not about accepting all lifestyles, rather accepting all styles of life. I have to say it that way to spotlight what’s really going on. What you’re witnessing in that strange person you’ve come across is LIFE; the very process of one creating their life and processing their journey. Nobody looks at someone taking a different path up the same mountain and remark, “What’s his problem??” Even when you’re on something else, nobody questions the journey when the same destination is understood.

Let other’s live. Reclaim your life. Get freaky with it.

What are some of your freaky qualities that you haven't admitted to?
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