The bait and switch

January 25, 2009

This post has nothing to do with a bait and switch other than the fact that I just lured you into reading something about a bait and switch and then changed my mind.

sperm

I believe in energy. That kind of unseen force that pulls people together or causes a convergence of several good or bad energies to one point at one time. How or why this happens I do not know. But hopefully, like a moving rain cloud, the badness that’s been hovering above me has passed. It just seems that I have been a magnet for crazy people and/or crazy events this past week. Or rather that those I associate with are latently crazy and I just so happened to notice it at once. 

At any rate, this started me thinking about the people I call my friends. Both men and women. I spent a large part of last night going over each one, trying to imagine them as if I were not friends with them but rather a stranger, looking in on their lives from a distance. Their collection of quirky idiosyncrasies and strangeness brought me to the disturbing conclusion that most of them are one of two things (and this of course is a sweeping generalization): highly creative, or highly unstable. Which category each of them falls into I shall not say here, but I have started a chart at home and have found it to be quite unsettling.

This, of course, then led me to ask inevitably,  what kind of a person am I to, number one, put my friends on such a horrible list, and number two,  have such crazy friends in the first place? Irrationally, I though, opposites attract. I’m safe. Logically, I thought, I’m just as nuts as my friends, I just don’t realize it.

It made even more sense when I was talking to M yesterday. She was going on and on about all the people in my life; this one has no life, that one exhibits psychotic behavior, another one has so many hang-ups they make the telephone company look bad. And it went on and on…”A has unresolved issues,” “B is a stalker and needs to chill out,” “C needs to get over his fear of intimacy and just commit,” “D is an addict,” “E is living in denial,” and “F, poor F, is basket case of hopeless proportion.”  Of course she wrote herself into none of these roles and never once used the word crazy to describe herself, though many would say she is by far the craziest of all my friends. But my point is, though we look in the mirror every day we do not see ourselves. 

When I thought of all these people around me, myself included, my entire expanse of family and friends, described under the umbrella of “crazy” or “off” or whatever other words come to mind to describe the state of being “not normal,” I couldn’t help but remember that video from sex ed class. The one of the sperm’s journey to the egg. Do you remember it? It wasn’t so much the journey that all those sperm took that stayed with me, but the fact that so many of them would never even make it to the egg because they were defective in some way. The video showed sperm with two flagellum, no flagellum, broken flagellum, two heads, ill-proportioned heads and so on. Of the millions of sperm whose job it is to just be “normal” and complete the work of fertilizing the egg, only ONE does the job. The rest fail.

I wondered if this was some kind of natural selection bullshit where millions are sacrificed for the success of one.  And I wondered too if I was being a little too harsh on my friends by judging them and deeming them abnormal. In all likelihood, it works like this: Out of a million of us, one third  are fucked up and spinning around in circles. Half will choose the wrong path and end up at a dead-end. Ninety-nine percent will never even come close to fulfilling the job we set out to do. And only one will reach nirvana and realize his or her true self.

To me, those sperm have represented the struggle of humanity for as long as I can remember. And still, I wonder, which one am I? Am I a broken sperm, that when captured on film in a petrie dish, swims round and round in circles getting no where, exposing her defects without even knowing it? Or am I one among the strong, healthy sperm that has no physical defects and can make the journey, but chooses the wrong path to the egg? Am I stuck in the cilia along the tube? Am I enjoying the ride? And what of  the other sperm with whom I am taking the journey? What of them? Are they the destroyed, ill-proportioned, sickly ones that go about their task unaware of their inevitable doom? Or are they the badasses and mad artist souls that say fuck the egg, let’s just live, live, live and be nuts.

I guess it all boils down to this: it doesn’t matter if my friends are nuts or not. What matters is the journey, and how much I love them, no matter what.

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