For a fairly decent chunk of my life, I have felt as though I am invisible. This occurs in many situations, and is most often recognized by myself when I am hanging out with friends. The boys always want to talk to my cuter, thinner, more accessible friends, and I’ve always been okay with that, because I’m usually thinking about at least four different things at once, and prefer not to be pestered with trivial things like caring about what dudes think of me. So while other folks are busy living, I’ve always been the one in the shadows observing, documenting, and inventing fiction, glorious fiction. Some might even call this escapism, and they might very well be right.
A lot of this occurs in a sort of backdoor compartment of my brain. While I’m talking, I’m thinking about other things. While I’m listening to others talk, I am thinking of other things. In this manner, I am never actually “off.” Except for those awful years when anti-convulsants placed their evil little restrictions on this past-time. It took years before the on switch clicked back into place, and I honestly rather hope it is there to stay this time.
The other night, I went out drinking with a bunch of folks, and every once in awhile, someone would turn to me and ask me if I was all right. I am guessing it was because I was a bit glazed over, deep in writing thoughts, brainstorm raging on, sorting out lines of words and organizing future blogs, stories, and ideas. I wasn’t listening, talking, or interacting with the group; I was too busy people-watching, thinking, and writing things down in my head, and occasionally, putting a few thoughts down on one of the notebooks I always carry with me.
Practical invisibility is the term I give to my way of being. Like there’s a point or a purpose to being cut-off or inaccessible to others. I am pretty sure I have always done this, to an extent, and that I always will, but for the last few years, since my marriage imploded (nod to any friends reading this, who tend to react to my mentioning that as “OMG, why are you still talking about that?”), I have tried to be more practical in my invisibility complex. I shouldn’t complain when I am alone, because I am inaccessible; it’s my own fault, and I must therefore hold an unconscious wish for eternal solitude.
It is a difficult thing to express a lot of the time, because friends who have been in long-term relationships for awhile tend to forget what it means to be alone. They forget it so much that they will say things like, “Oh, I envy you and your quiet life, and all the freedom you must enjoy.” Friends who are in newer relationships seem to cast you out, because of the novelty of their situation, and how they don’t want the reminder of being alone. Then there are the other loners, we who could band together, and take on the world, if not for the stigma of loneliness hanging over our heads like glaring neon signs with arrows pointing us out as “LOSERS.”
But hell with that. We’re not losers. We’re braver than most, going through each day all alone, sorting out issues, problems, conflicts, etc., all under this built-up guise of self-sufficiency. Oh, and we may whine and moan, but we have this freedom those coupled up folks tend to lack and throw back in our so-called loser-y faces. Maybe some of us had something we thought was real once. Maybe some of us were lied to on so hardcore a level, that trust seems an impossible thing. Maybe I should break down the 4th wall, look at the camera, and admit, this “some of us” is what happened to me.
I am practically invisible, and I think I like it that way, pulling away from the group, retreating inside my headspace, and writing down words upon words like that’s where I’ll find the meaning in all of this life-crap. This is why I am digging through all these old journals, trying to find answers in old thoughts and building new ideas out of them, making them better, and eventually, I will start to reappear. Even if right now I am only a thin outline, one day, I will attain visibility, and after that, maybe I’ll work on being corporeal again.