Tuesday, May 31, 2011
A tribe of one
Tonight was our 'graduation', although we are not allowed to call it that. Long story.
Anyway, I was there pretty early... as usual for me. I think I have a serious fear of showing up later than I think I should.
There early, I am able to hold the door for a fellow teacher, and even carry in a cooler for her. Good deal... I like helping my fellow instructors when I can.
Ten minutes later, I realize the cooler... and the boxes she carried... were packed with food. Maybe fifteen of my fellow instructors and staff are munching away on food brought for them, apparently to order.
No one asked if I wanted anything.
That kind of hurt. I went and guarded the auditorium door while everyone else ate, politely chasing away early arrivals till the place was ready. Someone needed to do it, and everyone else was... eating.
For the ceremony, I simply forgot about it. Other things going on, and far more important things. Afterward, I skipped the traditional 'Instructors meet at the bar and drink while complaining about administration/students/whatever', and just headed for home.
The ride gave me time to think.
I wasn't asked if I wanted anything because they were mean, or didn't care. They simply didn't think about me. I'm not one of the tribe. I travel a different path... one that has me on the outside, looking in. Thinking back, I realize... I always have.
There's been times in my life when I seemed part of the tribe, at least in my own mind, but that always ended. It ended because it wasn't real. It was an illusion, or maybe even wishful thinking, but not real. I leave a job, and realize my 'friends' were not friends, but coworkers. The job is gone, and so are they. A relationship with a woman ends, and the tribe I thought I was part of... turns out to be vapor overnight. It was her reality, not mine.
I probe a bit, and come to a conclusion. Even as a teenager, my 'friends' called me the ghost. I would show up with no one seeing, stay in the background, and vanish without anyone noticing. It was just the way I was.
I guess it's still be the way I am.
A tribe of one.