On being in-between

I just posted this in answer to my own question in thewoodbetween, so it’s kind of a conversation with myself:

What worlds do you straddle?

The world of freaks and mainstream suburbia, the artistic and the coldly analytical, conservatism and liberalism, spirituality and rationalism, goths and hippies. Those are a few…

Where and when do you find your in-between nature is most apparent, either positively or negatively?

At clubs and other gatherings of darker types, feeling at once at home and as if I’m a part of a different world. Without any judgement implied, I find a sort of metropolitan sensibility, coupled with a certain jaded cynicism, in the goth-types I know which I just don’t relate to – and these are the people I feel probably my greatest connection to. Not to mention my difference in politics with 99% of the people I meet. Even on the geek level, where I should find plenty of common ground, I find myself feeling like a lousy nerd, because I didn’t grow up playing RPGs, reading comic books, and watching cartoons.

I love my freaky friends. I certainly don’t fit in any better with anyone else… and yet, I’m a country boy. I’m a cog in the vast military-industrial complex, and not terribly unhappy there. I’m a family man who likes enjoying quiet evenings on the patio. Cigarettes make me choke, horror movies terrify me, dead baby jokes nauseate me, and I never get drunk enough to be ill. None of these things make me superior. They do make me an odd fit for that crowd though. There’s a level of “in-ness” in the scene that I will never attain. And that’s OK. But it makes me sad sometimes… because I sure as hell am not “in” anywhere else, either.

Do you have any group that you feel completely at home with?

Definitely not. I don’t think there are even any individuals I feel completely at home with.

If not, does that bother you? How do you react to the feeling of not completely fitting in anywhere?

I was raised to disdain conformity and to take pride in my uniqueness. I don’t feel an actual urge to fit in; but at the same time I see the tight circles of friends that people who do fit in better enjoy, and I envy that.

Is there any person or group that your core circle of friends are consistently down on, that you secretly (or not so secretly) understand and sympathize with?

Fundamentalist Christians, and suburban/country folk. I’ve been both, and experienced much love and neighborliness from both. I can’t bring myself to despise either with the vehemence that some of my friends seem to.

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  1. posted this question in unknown LJ tag. Is that your new community you started?

    1. Oops. Yeah, it is. I just corrected the LJ tag.

  2. Generations

    You may be interesting in _Generations_, by Strauss and Howe. They studied history and found a repeating cycle of ideas/mores among generations in the US (and earlier colonies), and linked the generation configurations (who’s a child, who’s in charge) to secular and spiritual crises). A rather dry read, but an interesting concept.

  3. That’s funny, I remember the day when you used to laugh at dead baby jokes.

    1. I’ve changed a lot, as you know better than anyone.

      I still laugh occasionanaly, uncomfortably, when it’s someone like Mean Salley and in the midst of one of his otherwise hilarious screeds.

      But I’ve never been entirely comfortable with them.

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