I remember the first time I saw Boy George perform on Top of the Pops and the debate on gender identity and sexuality it generated in 1980s Britain.
I remember the first time I went to London in the 1990s and saw a face of colour on the Tube. I had never seen one in person before.
I remember the first time I saw a dead body. Millennium day. On the street. Grey. Glass eyes staring.
For as long as I can remember, other people’s lives have fascinated me.
As life has progressed, any unfettered assumption I once held that everyone is as curious as I am about you has been completely blown out of the water.
A closet introvert, my natural state at a party would be the wallflower, although those who know me would probably be surprised at this admission.
Despite appearances, I much prefer to watch, listen and write than to talk or follow a tribe.
I guess all those years spent being ashamed and angry at myself around my shyness and anxiety has made me a pretty good actress.
I’m usually distant from your here and now, although hopefully it isn’t too obvious. I would hate it if it were.
I have discussed small observations that I find interesting about others with friends over the years and on occasion these conversations have been misunderstood as “bitching,” “being two faced,” “over-sensitivity,” and having way too much time on my hands.
I’m no saint, but most of the time my fascination at how other people are; why they do what they do; and how brass necked they can be, has manifested in excessively animated and in-depth analysis on my part after a few (arguably too many) glasses of wine.
Fuelled by passion, later filled with regret and fear.
The kind of thing the phrase “intense” was made for.
Now that I know that not everybody is an amateur social anthropologist, I only confide in the most like minded of my fellow bitches. Or write it down.
Here or elsewhere.
I’m afraid of being thought of as being creepy. Perhaps, I’m a little too interested.
I guess that I don’t really judge how I feel about a character on face value. That’s called being human. The more outlandish and ill-considered you are the better. The down right evil – the best. Your bad behaviour brings out the best in the creative me.
And sometimes, just sometimes, the worst people turn out to be the best.
I tend to use my own short-comings and missed opportunities as a benchmark and see how others compare in approach.
Too often, I’m troubled.
Then I rest easy knowing it could be a whole lot worse.
I’d say I’m pretty middle of the road on all fronts.
Sometimes I get frustrated that I’m not as brave as I could be.
Comparatively, that is (of course).
I’m mostly bored. There’s always room for improvement.
In the first book group I ever joined, one of the members confided in me that she had to work hard at enjoying reading because she had no imagination whatsoever. I couldn’t believe this, and challenged her on what I hoped was just a throw-away comment.
She challenged me back.
So, it turns out that some very cultured and literate people can’t visualise a world written in black and white.
I often wonder how common this is. I find a this pretty bleak thought.
But could anybody write well if they wanted to?
If they had a thousand hours of drive to think, analyse, write, edit, repeat?
I love to watch. I love to write. I love to read. I love to challenge. To shout without making a sound. I always have.
But I don’t think this guarantees being any good at it. Or getting results.
I’m in awe of many of you and your blogs, books, imagination, confidence.
I want what you have one day.
This is why I write.