Thursday, 7 November 2013

It Is Better To Be Alone Than To Share A Bed With Hitler

Living honestly was difficult for me to obtain and then to act on. I had to cope with the periodic episodes of loneliness that tend to coincided. I remember complaining to Grandma that I didn't fit in, that a particular person truly did not like me, that I had been left out of plans, that I was surrounded by lost invitations.   Grandma said, "Do you want everyone to like you?" I, of course, did, and she replied, "Even Hitler?" 

When I was 18 years old, visiting my hometown from university, I attended a cool person's party. Obviously this wasn't typical because I was never cool.  The host was a friend of a friend etc...  When I arrived, it was nice to wander through the crowd of swaggering designer clothes and static large hair. I listened to whispers about the host being a bit of a prick, but they were just whispers, no one would have dared to say it aloud. He was the archetypical male, large forehead under his cap and unnecessarily large condoms in his pocket, padding the keys to his father's Porsche. He was important not just because he could  funnel a few beers in under a minute, but because the next morning with hangover and bad breath, he still would  make the winning goal and that would win the crowd's hearts.

"Great party, Scott" I said. Thanks, he smiled. His teethe were so white that they seemed to glisten. I stared mesmerised, taking space in his circle. I listened to fluid conversations, interrupted only by laughter, the stomach holding type and I smiled and held my stomach too. But then came the racist slant, smoothly and comfortably introduced in the disguise of banter, aimed at the one jock who wasn't white. As my jaw dropped, the receiver nodded and smiled and waited for the spotlight to move on but, I didn't, I couldn't. I had to ruin the moment. Maybe it was due to the influence of midnight debates with lit cigarets in cramped rooms, maybe it was due to discussions had with a vocal mother (your grandmother) who marched for equal rights or maybe because it hurt when it happened to me, a Jew, which was the point I tried to explain. And then there was quiet, it was a moment where the world seemed to stop and my face started to itch.

Mr. Alpha  chuckled, head down, embarrassed, maybe, no.  His next line, "I hate the Jews,"  said with ease.

"You can't mean that."

His response, "Wish Hitler had finished the job, gassed all of you in the oven."

By you he meant me as a collective, my family, my community and eventually you, little one. I thought about my ancestors, who had attended similar parties, held by more powerful alpha dogs.   I looked around the room, at others with shared ancestry. I thought about the soldiers, professors, lost little children, who all attended similar parties, generations ago. Were they quiet?

His voice boomed, "Hitler didn't go far enough, he should have killed you all, poof," the room silently parted, so he could spit out his chew.  He looked back at me and wiped his face, confident that on Monday, the crowds would cheer him on again as he entered his arena. In a frozen room, I screamed until I no longer made sense and as he was pulled into the crowd, I was pulled to my car. The door shut and I sat staring at the vacant passenger seat.

Later, friends tried to excuse his actions, to convince me that Scott was not a bad guy, but he just had too much to drink. As well, they also tried to excuse my strong reaction saying I wasn't usually this hysterical, it must have been due to my father's recent death, another Jew.

Are Alphas made or born or a bit of both?  That person, aware of that dynamic and evasive social formula, a skill I have never mastered. Alphas, with their large personalities, often conveyed by few words, attracts and holds power. So much power that people will sit, patiently, to take notes, to take direction. They will stand staring at their feet like well-trained puppies as their organic world passes, in hopes of garnering acceptance, sense of belonging.

People like to stay within a breath of the alpha. They feel safe there. However, I encourage you to fight the pull of the mainstream current and find a comfortable seat that fits your individual stature. You will never finish designing your world, when helping to paint someone else's. I encourage you to seek that natural smile, even if that smile is given to you by a lifestyle unfamiliar to the one WE have led.  Do not expect people to publicly support your uniqueness, at best, there may be affirmations behind closed doors. But, trust me, being you is better than playing you and if you live honestly, then you will develop a more realistic vision of self and your surroundings.

Blind allegiance is dangerous, especially when given to those who lack intelligence and/or compassion, and, yet, it happens in all institutions and social circles.  People will choose obedience to dimwitted deities, and look down at their feet, smiling, waiting for the line to move, so that they can follow.  Hopefully, you, will stand outside the circle and rightfully ask questions. You will hold true to your own mores, map your own direction and not be pushed by the flow. However, this may mean that, instead of you joining in with the laughter, you could be the one being laughed at, which breaks my heart. It may also mean you spend some nights alone, covered in a pile of lost invitations. But some worlds may be wrong for you or they may just be wrong, and it could be a blessing to not gain entry.  I promise you, it will be worth it, because a cold bed is better than one warmed by Hitler.

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