Sunday, September 15, 2013

Working on Normal

Having lived alone in a dark cave for twenty-three years, I've picked up bad habits that don’t translate well in urban society—in any society for that matter.  Rousseau was absolutely wrong: civilization doesn’t corrupt and nature isn’t blissful.  I’m finding it hard to adapt as I exit one world and enter another.  You see, my friend, I landed this great teaching job a couple of years ago and I desperately want to fit in.  Problem is, I’m still not ready for public consumption.  We all have hang-ups; we all have peccadillos.  (I once ran over a peccadillo on a Kentucky highway, yet I still have my flaws.)  But I’ve been disturbing my colleagues at the office because I talk to myself, sigh loudly, grumble, and grunt.  One of the administrators, a pleasant young woman with ostensibly good intentions, had the audacity to come over to my cubicle and bring these outbursts to my attention.  Listen, when you’ve lived in a cave for over two decades, you learn to entertain yourself.  I tell people that I don’t talk to myself per se; rather, I’m working through issues or testing how something might sound in the classroom or on the stage.   Such explanations don’t matter, however.  I’m just the guy who talks to himself.
I was raised by a she-wolf out in the wild long before my cave years.  I yelp and scratch my crotch ferociously when things don’t go my way.  This ogre-like behavior has cost me friends.  Faculty steer clear of me and I worry that my job is on the line.  The tattooed guys at the local coffee shop look at me askance.  Who wants to serve an ogre coffee?  When I suckled my mom’s teat, along with her pups, little did I know that I was imbibing lifelong rustic habits.  During committee meetings I mimic the sounds of flatulence with my armpits.  I  still mark my territory when I’m at home.  Guests usually head for the door when they see my trousers starting to foam.  Yes, I’m rather uncouth, but please be patient: I’m working on normal.