Who am I, to think that I even slightly understand the rules of the game? Life has proven to me enough times that I don’t know the rules of the game, and yet I always begin each day with the assumption that I do.
Life might have been easier if I had been a complete foreigner, disfigured by genetics or some brutal tragedy. As it is, I am but a few millimeters away from being just like anyone else in my culture. Except, those millimeters become millions of miles when I am surrounded by people who play the game well.
The truth is, I am a complete foreigner, and the similarities I bear to other people in my culture are superficial ones. I never knew what to do inside a bar when I was single, and didn’t have a wingman, because I had no idea how to get one. Even if I had gotten one, and learned some pickup lines, I don’t think my face would have generated very many positive responses from the opposite sex.
But, the differences run much deeper than simply being socially awkward and out of touch with how the kids these days are connecting. The obsessions and norms of my culture are often alien and impenetrable.
There is surely a place of common ground where all human beings could meet and get to know each other without the friction caused by all of our differences. Maybe this common ground is often where I dwell, and when I step away from it, I am seized with the imperative to pick sides and project a consistent persona that some may hate, some may love.