Alien

I have known since I was very young that I was an alien.  Heck, from the age of four I have had a card to prove it, a green card marked “Resident Alien,” along with a requirement to report every January. 

My family explained that I was from the planet “Stupid” and that I didn’t really belong here because I didn’t think like a normal Earthling.  This made coming back to my parent’s home; since I didn’t fit in, my existance was only tolerated with a wary distance.  This home was about my mother, and that was the context of all my actions, how they reflected on her, how they made her life difficult.

Home may be where they have to take you in, but that doesn’t mean it is where you feel safe, loved and valued.  And when you feel like you have no safe home, no place you can let down your guard, be seen and valued, understood and accepted, well, that can feel, what, lonely & long-lost?

Garry Marshall’s key piece of acting advice to the kids he worked with on Happy Days was simple: act like you belong in the room.   Believe that it is your home, a place where you can open up and relax.

When you don’t feel at home in the world — when you feel like an alien — the world is a very different experience.   Alienation is alienation, safe to say.

This experience of home is something that I have been looking for over the past month or so.  I know TBB has found it by being open, and I know HollyFairy creates it by building walls — walls that she is very clear I belong on the outside of.    Frank’N’Furter’s last cry echoes in my ears:  “I’m going home.”

This dream of community, of knowing, safe and supportive audience, is the dream for so many.  As I spoke about in 1995,  the Coke commercials have been effective when they evoke a connection to community, a world of happy Coke drinkers, all together.

I have been pondering the long cold drive to Burlinington, VT this Saturday to see if there is community there.  Are there femmes there who will get the jokes, who will smile and affirm what is invisible to so many?  Or will it be like that orgasm workshop where Barbara Carellas read ironic bits of a suicide piece as affirmation, while I stayed invisible on the floor in the midst of a room of panting college kids?

In other words, will there be people like me, or will I be a alien there too, out of synch with age and size and birth sex and history and all the other bits that seem to create more separation than connection?   I do know it takes time to create connection, but I also know that someone who isn’t even close to getting it today probably won’t be close to getting it — getting me — next week.  After all, it’s not like I don’t reveal myself here, but that revelation hasn’t caused an outpouring of connection, although I do value those like Gwyneth, Yarrow, Ruby and Inland.Dreaming who have shared; thank you.

This metaphor of alien seeking a home is older than the uigly duckling, and as current as The Riches.   

But it is one I feel acutely everyday.

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