Wednesday, July 19, 2006
This morning I had a memory:
When I was in the 7th grade, I sat at a lunch table with some popular girls. I never really fit in with them. I wasn't like them, I had different interests. I was kinda weird. I'm not sure how I ended up there, but one day I was asked to leave. "Please evacuate the table," the note read. Almost 20 years later, I remember my lunch-table pink slip like it was yesterday.
I remember thinking; "Evacuate the table? How can a person evacuate a table?" Nonetheless, I got the point. And I was very hurt. "What's wrong with me? I'm a nerd!"
I never really fit in in general, and at one point, I just stopped trying. I don't think it was a conscious decision, I just got weirder and weirder as the years went by. In my junior year of high school, someone told me, "Since you can't fit in, you try to "fit out" as much as you can." He wasn't saying it in a mean way. And it was true.
When I discovered the Grateful Dead, I found a home for my weirdness. I really blossomed as a person, I became beautiful. Becoming religious was like the end of that trip. After I settled into my yiddishkeit, I didn't have to assert my identity as much as I did when I was Deadhead.
I just became more of myself.