It hit me today: I'm still the same shy and naive boy. Here, I thought I was growing up. I was socializing with people, having decent times, having the casual drinks, working a job. I should've known I couldn't just put on a face and pretend that four years of high school, four years of college never happened. I wanted to pretend that that was all just a bump in the road to being an acceptable human in the eyes of anyone and everyone. Well, that was all shot down in the blink of an eye after work in an innocent conversation with my peers.
But first, let me build up the situation. If you know me in anyway, the "real" me, then you already know that I'm not the most experienced person in the world. I've never gone clubbing, never partied, and I only had my first drink this summer. It never really bothered me until I got out of college and into the real world. I have had to adapt, and I guess that's the bad part. I want so much to do "normal" things and experience life with people. I want to laugh and have fun.
Well, I thought I was headed on that path these past few weeks or months. In my job, which is how I have most of my human interaction outside of my family, I've developed friendly relationships with many of the new teachers ( by the way, I'm a teacher). I actually was comfortable around these individuals and was able to joke around and carry conversations. You might think that that's a trivial accomplishment. However, I have always struggled with small talk and socializing. I consider the fact that the new teachers and I are on a level where we can kid with each other, a monumental feat. See, just to carry a conversation and laugh and make people laugh and not even have to think about what to say next is a dream to me. Sure, I may have done this before I hit puberty, but afterwards, not so much.
In these past few weeks, I loved how I could talk about anything, joke around, have friendly banter, and even exchange phone numbers for purposes outside of the workspace. I can enjoy happy hour with these teachers and feel human and personal. It's sad that I see myself in this light. It's sad that I need to be a little tipsy to be more open. But, that feeling is so lacking in my life, that having it made me realize the stark contrast of how I've been living my life before these experiences. Humans are social animals.
Then, today a conversation developed that I could not partake in. It was after school, the end of the work day, but three other new teachers (two girls and one guy) and I were working on lesson plans. Now, I told you how friendly all the teachers are, so if you picture any jovial situation with conversation topics all abound, that is what the meeting looked like. We were working, but we also were socializing. What could possibly wake me up from dream-like past couple of weeks? I could be reminded of my inexperince in life, and I truly and deeply emphasize and quote a special type of "inexperience".
The topic was abortions, but the "inexperience" comes from what physical activity leads to babies. Before that topic came up, we were all taking turns making jokes as we figured out what homework to give for tomorrow's lesson. A joke here, a joke there. A laugh here, a friendly roll of one's eyes there. An okay time. But what could I say when that "topic" comes up in which I have a profound "inexperience" with? Could I fake it? No. That would spell the worst disaster and I was at least smart enough not to fake it. So, if I couldn't fake it, then the only thing I could do was keep quiet. Oh, God. That was almost as worse as faking.
Just the way I was frozen staring at my work. "What could've happened to Blurr that made him so quiet", my colleagues must have been thinking. Just seconds ago, I was joking about how disorganized they were as teachers and visa versa. Now I'm quiet when this topic comes up? Each of them had some imput, some opinion about abortion, that was directly related to "experiences" that I was so "inexperienced" with. Oh, I felt my quietness. I was petrified of them asking me for my two-cents, and at the same time, like a little boy who realizes what boys and girls do for the first time, I was shocked that I was in the presence of people who have had that "experience" and were talking about it so openly. Talking as if it was something that everyone goes through.
"If you're a mature adult, you obviously have had the "experience", so it's okay for us to talk about it in front of ourselves."
So, I just listened along, trying as hard not to show my heart bouncing out of my sweater. I was hoping that the conversation would pass me by like the many conversations that I didn't have when I was college. Please pass me by without my input. I'm not going to pretend, but that doesn't mean I'm going to tell you I'm an "inexperienced" boy.
Luckily, somewhere in the conversation, I had gotten up and grabbed my jacket, in preparation to leave. Then the one guy colleague switches the conversation to marijuana. Now, that I can take. I don't have to be ashamed or apologize for not getting high. It's no big deal for me. Humans are not born to smoke weed. It's not encrypted in their genes. Procreation, however, is. Those 10 minutes of three people talking with the unusual silence from me was excruciating in my part. It has affected me so much that I had to make this entry in "Lips Like Asukal".
They definitely noticed my not talking during the conversation. Or, maybe it just passed them by. I think I'm more afraid, that if they didn't pick it up, another situation may arise where I may have to share my "inexperience". And, this could've been the perfect place to own up to my "inexperience". I'm still young, out of college, and I know I'm straight-laced. I need to be myself and let the chips fall where it may. But damn have they fallen back onto the same place where I was when I was in college. I'm so worried how I will be perceived in my peer's eyes. I felt like we could be friends, but something like this may put a damper on my human appearance.
I know it has changed, for the moment, my view of these three people. Sure, in the back of my head I may have knew that these folks are adults and should be experienced like "normal" people, but I am always naive. I still think there are "innocent" people out there. And I was developing a thing for one of the girls at the meeting. That was slowly happening in the past weeks of working together. But just hearing this conversation, and how all of them were experienced, has changed my view of them. I thought they could possibly accept me, but now I'm scared that if they ever find out, they might look at me differently. What little chance I may have had with this girl might have gone down the drain today.
Boy, did I walk out that school with my jacket feeling absolutely different. Because I am different. I need to accept that, and live with it. No. Be proud, happy, and content. I was happy in the presence of these people before this faux-revelation, so nothing should have change. They may not even know of my "inexperience", and even if they did, who cares. I'm not going to apologize for being who I am. If it affects any potential relationships negatively, then so be it.
I hope it doesn't. After all, I'm still human.