Is it just me? Am I the only one that feels invisible at times? Like even the people I am “close to” couldn’t care if I was there or not?
People look at me and think, “That guy is cool. He must have a ton of friends.” But that couldn’t be further from the truth. I feel like people don’t really get me, worse they don’t really SEE me.
To be fair I am kind of an enigma. Not to be pigeon-holed into one genre or group. I’m the guy that can show up at the party and people are fine with it. “Oh Luke’s here.. that’s what’s up.” But when they make the list I am not generally on it, unless I am there at the conception.
Maybe it’s because I moved so much as a kid. I remember being ostracized as far back as 4th grade when I moved from Houston, Texas to the Twin Cities in Minnesota. We drove from Texas the day after Christmas, so during Christmas break, and I started a new school mid-year with a strange accent. At Valentine’s I surprised the “popular” girl with a secret admirer basket, and over heard her trying to guess which boy in the class had given it to her. There they were all the girls in class huddled around her desk, I was a few feet away at my desk trying to look like I wasn’t paying attention to them. They went around the room whispering about whether it was this boy or that one. They finally landed on me, and certainly was super engulfed in whatever was on my desk. She said she hoped it wasn’t me… all the girls giggled. That was a bad year for young Luke. It was so bad that I ultimately ran away from school on the last day before summer break because I was tired of being the outcast.
Now l am an all-grown-up inside outsider. An extroverted introvert. A walking ox/moron. Or at least I feel like that sometimes. See I am a performer. l am confident on stage, behind a microphone. I thrive there. I remember doing a talent show in 5th grade. I rapped some ol’ school Hip Hop, and my whole class, teachers and all, were looking at me with utter and total shock. “Did this little white kid just get up there and do that?” No music, nobody with me, just little ol’ me and a mic stand a cappella rapping somebody else’s music. They hated it! That didn’t deter me. People like it now, but back then it was unconscionable.
So yeah, l am a 40 year old white rapper, in prison. I sing a little too, and write poetry that people seem to really like. I get asked to perform or at the very least host most functions that are put on here. I love it. But once I am done with whatever performance I was tasked with I become an afterthought again.
I want to be like, screw everyone I am my own man! I don’t care what people think about me… but I obviously do. Nobody wants to be on the outs. We all want acceptance. Isn’t it one of Maslow’s Needs? So we shrug off small slights as inconsequential, and overlook little insults like they were only joking.
I feel like a sap. Like a crybaby. Men aren’t supposed to have feelings! Right?
Maybe it’s just me…