Somebodyism—how most of us are raised to be somebodies and what a no-win game that is to buy into because while you may turn out to be much more somebody than somebody else, a lot of other people are going to be a lot more somebody than you. And you are going to drive yourself crazy – Anne Lamott
I cringe at the thought of tarpaulins especially during march. When graduates of every kind come sashaying out of their school’s auditorium, dressed up in fancy sleek robes and hats. Hats that progresses from the small white cap into an overgrown yellow mushroom worn by people who earned their doctorate degrees. I have never seen myself wearing those silly hats, and not once have envisioned myself tossing a rolled up piece of paper in the air. I’ll be happy to have gotten out of college alive by then. And I’ll be happy enough to just skip the solemn procession of having to do mindless hand shaking with figures I rarely see on a day to day basis.
When I think about graduation and tarpaulins. I think about how our parents were replaced by teachers as we grew up into the person we are now. Teachers are like parents they affect the way you think, speak, and decide for yourself. Drifting back to classroom memories of when I was a grade schooler, I realize that my actions always caused me trouble at school especially with other children and parents. But I’ve never once had a problem with the teachers except for the subject matter they handled. I remember Mrs. Teapot very clearly. A classic Disney character from beauty and the beast. I remember using her as a pendulum to entertain my restless little cranium and to teach me a little about physics and physical pain.
It was probably in the classroom when it happened. I was probably in a trance when I decided to tie the melanin filled figure on the removable sling of my bag. And to test how well I tied the toy I decide to fling the object at the highest point in the air then quickly pulling it back with my hand to keep it in momentum. I was finally swinging it like a pro, and maybe to their eyes I probably looked like David but unfortunately the Goliath ended up to be a boy, and Mrs. Teapot ended up half lodge into his left eyeball.
Then I sit back on my chair and think for a moment why I even brought that toy in the first place. And I cringe again from remembering the awful memory.
The reason why I brought that particular toy on that day was because last school year I missed out on bringing my own favorite toy to class every Friday. It’s an awkward feeling to remind yourself how awful it felt sitting all afternoon until your butt starts to hurt, and you’re stuffing all that confusion and regret from not having the chance to make people like you as a person. I really hate socializing.
Every Friday, if the teacher writes it down on the chalk board, all of my classmates would bring their own favorite toy to class and start playing endlessly with the other kids. But I don’t even remember ever having fond memories of playing together with any of my seatmates nor classmates. I only remember feeling left out and ignored. And drifting further back I see myself standing in front of a dammed up river trying to dislodge a piece of stone from it. The rocks begin to tremble, water spurts out from several spaces within those rocks and finally bursting away. Shocking you with its pressure and suddenness that you forgot why it was there in the first place.
Drifting further into my unconscious self I’m staring right into a glass casing, where hundreds of wide eyed dolls and figurines are locked up together. In my head I could hear my mother saying to me that I was forbidden to take out her collection. I was forbidden to destroy what she had built up so perfectly well. And if I take it out I’m not only destroying that perfect world but breaking her trust into a million pieces. I don’t know what caused this obsession but being an avid collector of books and divination cards. I can understand that it gave my mother and grandmother a sense of self, an escape from reality, and maybe helped their sanity along the way. And when I think about the dolls they’ve collected and locked up behind that glass casing. I think and know that they are still there sitting in the same position for the past 20 years or so, with their doll flesh peeling off from its base, and hanging loosely like burnt flesh. Their dull limp hair covered in dust and cobwebs, and dead eyes that never really looks at you.
I thank the man who invented video games. I couldn’t play with dolls or have tea parties with other girls or dolls for that matter. But there was a Nintendo 64 console at home, and though it’s unfair to think that being a girl you’re subjected to buying pretty little things you’re mother won’t let you use, and still won’t buy you boyish toys either. You’ve got to thank having an older male sibling around the house hold for letting you play 007 – Golden Eye like a good sport.
I think most of my free time was spent on playing with Barbie dolls that were considered thrash and physically deformed. I didn’t have a tiny wardrobe to give them decency, but they had enough personality and spunk to pass as a Soviet Union spy. I remember using the thread of a thick bathrobe and tied both ends to create a zip line for one of my deformed beauties to slid down until they fell off half way to the ground.
When I think about it I couldn’t make friends at school because I’ve learned how to spend my free time day – dreaming. And if I kept at it my pupils will eventually roll back into my skull emphasizing that age old adage “Physical here but mentally elsewhere.” And they never talked about anything else except gossip and rumours about other people.
Gamers weren’t popular until the advent of Comic-con or Otaku-con or Nerd fest became popular. I wasn’t a serious gamer neither was I hell bent on collecting figures that screamed cosmetic surgery.
Playing 007 on Nintendo 64 helped me vent out my frustrations. The moment you learn how to digitally kill an opponent is when you start honing the attributes that skill possesses such as speed, accuracy, defense, and mortality rate. I wasn’t a very good player because Natalya Simonova kept getting shot in the head, and when blood drips from the top of the screen reruns of watching her die from every angle forces you to reconsider you’re competence level as a shooter, or whether you should stick to playing with plastic dolls.
Something about playing dolls versus handling plastic controller affects you in the head. Dolls give you that creative imagination to pursue the impossible within 2 minutes of your life. With Sims I could achieve a life time of fantasy within 1 hour or so, and still I haven’t lived out all my fantasies using a single sim (And it even gets weirder with having babies and all.) But with a plastic controller I would need to consider the buttons I’m pushing, the stick controller that navigates the lifeless character. Over all I find myself being forced to like a character that convinces me will save the universe one day. Unless you screw it up for him by getting devoured by a giant green crocodile called mister turtle.
When I think about school I think mostly about the children that went to that school. I rarely interacted with adults during those times, and teachers were either catching Z’s on their table during lunch while some students play with their hair, or they’re still in their table screaming at the world for their incompetence.
Teacher’s will always be a classic Queen of Swords type of person or in popular otaku culture its Tsundere.
But when it comes to a child you never know exactly what’s on their mind. The same way I never knew exactly what was on my mind when I decided to use Mrs. Teapot as a pendulum, or how I never understood why Goliath came close to a high speeding object. Maybe it was to learn a lesson or two? Lesson one being careful where you experiment with objects. And the second would be to observe how a single obstacle can lead to severe accidents and traumas in life. Those lessons which we learn as a child but tend to ignore as silly games and little accidents, but when you actually start writing seriously and you can’t help (actually you need to if ever you choose writing as a life time pursuit) but go back to the past to extract it in words.
Your problem is how you are going to spend this one odd and precious life you have been issued. Whether you’re going to spend it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over people and circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it and find out the truth about who you are.Anne Lamott