Alien Encounters with Other Humans
There are days, sometimes weeks, when I seem to be speaking a different language than all the humans I encounter. I make jokes that fall flat. I express my excitement or happiness and people around me step away, in case it’s contagious. Some of it is in my head. No, probably quite a lot of it resides there. But there are simply times when my communication skills veer left of center and it feels like reading close captioning when the typist is slow or when a film dub is just off by a second.
Yesterday, while happily shopping at Whole Foods (is there any other way – the produce is just so pretty!), the retro-beatnik-hipster-unshaven cashier, in an attempt at being jovial/condescending to the middle-aged broad, said “What do you think of the weather?” It was 52 degrees. In December. In Minnesota. I joked and said “The apocalypse is coming”. He chuckled uncomfortably, eyes shifting over to the bagger, is she going to kill us? The bagger laughed nervously as well.
The hipster eventually responded, in a brave show of indulgence for the weirdo, chuckling, “Well, I’ve never heard that one before.” I like people who appreciate my humor, so I briefly pondered waiting for him out in the parking lot to force him to laugh at more of my jokes, but I had FroYo Cherry Garcia, so I had to get home. And before you say it, yes, I know, there’s a strong possibility that I am a) not funny or b) really scary in person, so that any comment sounds like a death threat.
Usually, after several more encounters like this, I get supplies and hole up in my study until I’m in sync with the rest of the universe. I don’t answer the phone, I delay responding to emails, texts and I never answer the door. If I get angry, I hold onto it until it dissipates or turns into a disease. I know my limitations and it’s just better for everyone all the way around if I retreat.
Today is such a day. Time to simmer, reflect, do hard physical labor, recharge and get in sync with myself. Sometimes when I feel out of step with other humans, it’s because I’ve lost my own center and I just need to be quiet. This post being the exception, of course.