A million. A billion. A zillion…infinite. It all started with one and now, well, now it’s a sea of bodies and crashing waves of every day similarities, making it harder and harder to stand out, stand up, and stand over.
What am I talking about? We are all but snow flakes falling from a cast-away sky, as individual as an arrangement of buckyballs rendered by a group of chimps with MFA degrees in being silly and tossing poo.
Have I lost you yet? If not, keep reading and I will.
Let me “real” this in just a bit.
For as long as I can remember, I have had this desire to stand out. In everything I did, I didn’t want to be seen as nothing more than a part of the flock, a sheep, a gaggle if you will. No matter if it was in the way I dressed, the words I spoke, the careers I chose — my modus operandi was to make sure everyone around me knew I was there.
Of course as a much younger man this came across as arrogance or annoyance. And I don’t doubt that. But as I aged, I quickly realized that to just be seen was not always a good thing. There was a whisper-fine line between attention and destruction and I had already spent too much time hopping back and forth across that line. So when I became an “adult” (the jury is still out if that really happened) I realized I could gain attention in many ways.
Oh sure, it was easy when I was an actor on stage — the job description sort of demands it. But once that career came to a close, I had to find a new means of seeking out that ever-elusive spotlight…and do so without leaping back over that hateful line.
Standing out…without sitting down.
Here’s the thing — we’re all “public figures” is a vast sea of millions of other “public figures”, so we have to stand out, or no one will ever notice us (or our work.) We do this by writing something “different” and “beautiful” and “worth while”. But does that really make us stand out? I’ve read a lot of different, beautiful, and worth while books whose author I couldn’t remember because they didn’t stand out.
Back when I was a hair stylist I had a trick up my sleeves — one that managed to have me enjoying plenty of clients. What was that trick? My attire. I dressed in ways that would always want clients to return to see just what I was going to wear next. It was great. I had a blast with it and my clients often bragged that they had a hair stylist and “you wouldn’t believe how he dresses!” It brought new clients in and it worked its way up from there.
It was great. But it was okay, acceptable even, because hair stylists are always known for their eccentricities. And although writers are often known for their quirks, they tend to be quirks of the anti-social type.
Now…I’m starting to wonder if it’s time to play my quirky card again so I don’t blend into the flock of sheep. I want my words to do that job for me…and I certainly hope they do. But that little gremlin that constantly tickles my heart to leap out and surprise everyone longs to be heard from. That gremlin has no desire to count the bodies in the ocean like sheep on a grassy knoll.
A million…dare you join the ranks? A billion…are you still there? A zillion…anyone?
Come play with me on this journey. Stand out with me and let the world know you are not about to “go beige” and blend into the wall behind you. We are all different. We march to the tune of many different drummers, else how in the world would we be able to manage all the characters and worlds trapped within our brains. We couldn’t walk the city streets with serial killers, monsters, plagues, romances, ghosts, and other non-standard trains of thought blasting across our synapses.
Let’s take this hayride up to one hundred miles an hour and make this the prettiest damn dance the world has ever seen.
If I’ve lost you, worry not, you’ll find your way back to me and have a joyous time in the doing.