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“Can You See the Real Me?” Are You Sure You Want to?!

August 26, 2013

Disclaimer about the forthcoming disclaimer: Don’t worry, this post isn’t sexually suggestive. Nor is it potentially offensive to the majority of Americans as well as, lest my fellow citizens forget it exists, the rest of the world. In fact, it’s not even particularly ire-inspiring, so let me just get on with the:

Real disclaimer: This is some serious Joyceian stream-of-consciousness shit coming up here. Only it’s less a “stream” and more like those little dotted lines the kids in Family Circus make if there were random wormholes whisking them across time and space and back in the middle of the dots, and it’s not even on the topic of children, atheism (I guess I already covered that), or singledom…at least, not really.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, grab your preferred beverage of choice if you want to keep reading. Otherwise, I promise* I’ll be more on track later this week.

*I had my fingers crossed behind my back. Just in case. 

Last week, I huffed, puffed, and whinged my way up three fourteeners. They all sucked, as most fourteeners do–I’ve yet to encounter one that has a trail with a less-than-3% grade the whole way up, and doing anything at altitude, even breathing, consumes massive amounts of energy.

Thus making it completely unsurprising that I felt completely undaunted about having, and showing off, a raging case of The Stupids. And since my first ex-husband and longstanding fourteener partner was suffering the same, anyone who encountered us was likely to hear one of a few phrases, repeated over and over again:

“Christ on a ham sandwich!” (Okay, I take back the non-offensiveness to believers part in the disclaimer.)

“Christ on a pogo stick!” (Further apologies.)

“Fuck me up the ass with a giant rubber dick named Paco Bazos!” (No, I’m not sure why we continue to invoke the name of a one-off character from a poorly-remembered eighties TV show.)

And then there were the song lyrics:

I sentence you to be exPOSED before your PEE-ahs!” (Usually uttered when one of us was taking a piss, since there’s no way of concealing yourself up there.)

“The pris’ner, who now stands before you, was caught red-handed showing FEELINGS, showing FEELINGS of an almost human nature!” (See above link, but drop some acid first.)

Can you see the real me? Can ya? CAN YA?!?” (Uttered when going up Mt. Cameron, which had, by my count [do factor in the raging case of The Stupids] approximately 57 false summits.)

And, finally, my favorite, which really had nothing to do with anything: “Is it me? For a moment…

At least, John Entwistle’s romantic wistfulness had nothing to do with anything on the hike. It had somehow gotten in my head on the drive up to the mountains the night before, seemingly apropos of nothing except the fact that my current musical obsession happens to be Quadrophenia. 

But there does seem to be a reason that line strikes a chord, if you’ll pardon the obvious pun. After all, I have been, and will soon be, playing various roles for various short films. All of which have been, in some ways, significantly more fun than my real life: in my most recent, I had thirty seconds of screen time but got to fill them by stuffing a gag ball in my character’s boyfriend’s mouth, then smacking a chair with a riding crop while exclaiming, “He will speak only when he is spoken to!”

In a more involved role, I got to be the total opposite of myself in real life. My character was over-the-top, obsessed with fashion, beauty, and gold-digging and blind to the obvious (although I did deliberately play her as being also perceivable as being aware of her surroundings, but simply not giving a fuck if said surroundings weren’t overtly admiring her shoes).

And even though I spent more time than I’d have really liked crammed into six-inch stiletto heels and needed a crash course in applying (and overapplying!) makeup, I had fun. In both cases, I either got to act out a longstanding fantasy (my last boyfriend will only shut up when he’s dead, making me think a gag ball was a good investment for reasons other than its wink-and-nudge purpose) or be someone who was completely straightforward and simple in her needs and desires in life.

Because let’s face it, sometimes the phrase, “Sucks to be you!” isn’t just a taunt by playground bullies or bosses with attitude problems. Sometimes, you really do feel like being anyone else, anywhere else is unquestionably a better deal. Sometimes you get so sick of being trapped in your own head with your own thoughts that you’d welcome a one-day switch with the lab dude who picks through stool samples for a living.

Not to say that I hate my life or that I’m mentally unbalanced enough for a clinical diagnosis. It’s just that as much as the internet reveres Aspies, introverts, and other assorted one-woman and -man freak shows, it’d be kind of nice to be an average audience member for a little while. Sometimes, it gets monotonous giving the same weight to pondering the extent of autobiography in Nabokov’s Pale Fire as to drawing up a pros-and-cons list of eating a Safeway Select soup versus ordering Chinese food for dinner (seeing as how it’s after 9 GMT on a Monday, I’m thinking it’ll have to be Safeway, unless I really get my act together. But do I really want to get my act together? The soup would be healthier and less expensive…).

But then, there are also those times when the answer to the question, “Is it me?” is a shrug and a, “Fuck if I know.” There are small-r romantic implications to that particular lyric that are best explained on Wikipedia, but suffice to say that lyric and melody represents a starry-eyed dreamer who could be found in a blooming field, picking the petals of a flower while sighing, “They love me, they love me not…”

Because I am in something of a state of flux right now. It’s been nearly nine months since I dumped my ex. It’s been over a year since the last time I was, shall we say, physically intimate with anyone else (and there goes the non-NSFW part of my disclaimer!). I’ve had no desire to rectify that situation. Does that mean I’m wilfully celibate? Have I been asexual all along and not realized it until recently? Is this (lack of) feeling (of an almost human nature…or not) temporary or permanent?

Fuck if I know, or no fuck, as the case may be. Besides, I got more important things to worry about. I still have 45 fourteeners to conquer and umpty-zillion times that number of times to defile major world religions as well as top-notch British rock on my way up them.

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