Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Not of This World

Poor souls. People like them just do not fit in, anywhere. They are the misfits. My closest friends have been brainy people, nerds or not. They prodded me on to read more and think more. They understood humor that passed ordinary people. Some have been drunks that never made it as artists. Some just couldn't adapt to the world at all.

But there are others just as appealing, with low brain power perhaps, but apparently in touch with another world, if only of their own making. They pull at me too.

I had a friend who just wasn't going to make it in school. He thought he would copy the test of the person ahead of him in class. Boy did he copy it. Every detail was identical, right down to the person's name. When the teacher received two identical papers and none handed in by my friend, it was obvious what had occurred.

My friend got into a fight as a boy getting a loaf of bread for his mother. As a man, every member of his family, including his wife and daughter, had been in jail. He and his sons had been in prison. Yet until his death we were extremely close friends.

In many ways we had the same kind of unworldly thoughts. Minds that do not conform, for whatever reason, can make lifelong problems. My friend's only daughter is back in prison. I just sent her a Bible there.

I call these people "the primitives", often belonging to a different world, a different life in this one. They could be sweet and loving. They have been to me, but they just did not fit in.

America may think of itself as a land of the individualist. I find the opposite is true. After many years of life I see this nation as filled to the brim with conformists.

I live in the midst of a region where the rarest of thoughts is original, where thinking itself is rare. The people are like cattle--gentle, good, but different only in the smallest ways.

Why am I so critical? Who am I to judge? I have no excuse. But I feel a great shaking is coming. Many of the old, mindless, conformists will pass away. When people--those who can--are forced to begin acting in a much more basic way, the primitives will be waiting for them. They have been there all along.

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