When You’re A Stranger

Insecurity is a sneaky animal with sharp claws that is always ready to pounce.

I went to the beach tonight to watch fireworks. The couple of friends that I had planned on going with were running late and the size of the crowd (apparently numbering in the hundreds of thousands) prevented the use of mobile phones, so, I ended up alone for the show.

Sitting around me was the population of an entire city, yet I didn’t know anybody. An extreme case, perhaps, but it serves to illustrate my feelings. I haven’t been a stranger in so long that I don’t remember how to deal with it.

It seems odd complaining, I have a great job, a great place to live, a great life in general, I just don’t know anybody yet. A few people, sure, but you could count the ones I don’t work with on one hand. Make that two fingers.

When I was young, I was a very solitary child. I played with my cousins when they were around, which was often, but cousins are free friend, you don’t have to know people to have cousins. Even as a solitary child, however, I was happy. I enjoyed my solitude, my time to contemplate life, my time to learn about the things I wanted to learn about. Somewhere along the way, that changed. Maybe it was girlfriends, maybe it was being in theatre, but I became very dependent on social contact.

The rules here are different. I feel like I understand the way the people work, but I think the type of understanding I have is more scientific than artistic, if that makes any sense. I know why they do the things they do, but being back at ground zero has shown me that I don’t really know where to start.

I’ve been in Vancouver for just over a month now, and I’ll be back in California for a few days soon. Hopefully I will have internet by the time I get back, I miss having people to talk to at 2am.

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