• Is there hope for the Odd Ones among us?

    Sometimes I wonder how my wiring got screwed up. It had less to do with nuture than nature, that much I am certain, but family oddities are a little difficult to deal with. So I don't impose myself a great deal on my family. They are great people; wonderful and caring, but we are all better off for having a few thousand miles between us.

    Yet sometimes I find that I can't quite slip into the regular channels of everyday life either. The other day someone told me that the new guy at work reminded him of Steven Seagal, I asked when Steven worked for us. The kid thought I was kidding, prodding me with descriptions of his martial arts prowess. I caught on it was an actor, eventually.

    Just as I caught on when I thought it was odd that they would make a duck portray Batman. Yes, when they said Ben Afflek was going to be Batman, I thought it was the silly duck who goes around screeching Aflac! I mean, I have a goose name George and his mate is Gracie, so a duck named Ben didn't seem so far out. To me, dressing a duck in a Batman suit conjured amusing images and a great satire. The 'real' Batman doesn't interest me at all, nor does the person who Hollywood picks to portray him. I could not get outraged at the thought of some actor named Ben Afflek being chosen as Batman. A duck with a black mask and codpiece, trailing a rubber cape allowed my mind to wander along paths of laughter.

    My private amusement and bemused grins that have little bearing on what is occurring around me, happen when my mind has managed to get away from me again. My thoughts have moseyed off on some strange tangent. I have wonderful, dedicated friends, but I think they often worry for my sanity. I can't imagine why, I haven't had any for a very long time. Perhaps as bad things compounded, my mind eventually decided to become amused rather than distraught. So it leaps around, never idling even in sleep, to contemplate all manner of things--from the origins of man to religious development to how a person could get a duck to wear tights and a codpiece.

    Reading is the pastime which most effectively satisfies an unquiet mind. It teaches me, answers questions, inspires me, keeps me slightly in balance. People ask how it is that I can restore a 1938 Farmall tractor, build a deck, create a model railroad through a garden, convert a railroad car to a library, write novels, and produce a report on water saving measures in response to a drought. Because I read.

    It sometimes annoys people that I am able to accomplish such a variety of things. I often wonder though, if they ever consider how demanding it is to actually keep all those various projects in my mind. And if I did not read, at least one book a week, often more, I would have no way of acquiring the knowledge. So its a bit busy in my brain cells most the time and the background activity of my mind can be rather distracting.

    Which is why my friend and I laughed hysterically over a little story about an ninety year old woman who went shopping with her make-up and hair done, matching bra and panties, nylons, heels and her purse. It seems she might have forgot to complete the outfit after that point. But we weren't laughing at the little old lady, we were envisioning me, standing in my boots, socks, and underwear outfit, wondering where I put my wallet as I was checking out at the cashier. Yup, I can lose track of the simplest task right in the middle of it, as my mind races on to some new idea or project. So the idea of me reaching the point where I could forgot to finish dressing before dashing off, just isn't so far-fetched.

    It concerns me, I suppose, that I have trouble reining in my mind, keeping it on task and proceeding orderly through life. But its a life long affliction and I don't really know how to turn it around at this late date. The best I can hope for is that at some point, some kind soul will take sympathy and direct my attentions to the present. I don't know if I can ever relax enough to become involved with TV and movies unless they find a way to speed them up. But maybe, just possibly, I can keep myself from becoming one the truly Odd Ones, the eccentrics that people watch with a wary eye, in case they lose control. Of course in my case, losing control would be a fit of wild laughter rather than mass murder, but if I am doing that while shopping in my undies, it might be reason enough to call out the nice young men in their clean white coats, to trundle me off to the Funny Farm. I just want to know--are the nuts eligible for equal rights protection?

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