I don’t know any bearded ladies. Or sword swallowers. I kinda wish I did, because I’m sure they’d have some really funky stories to share.
I know my share of normal people. They’re nice. You know...accountants, engineers, vice presidents of such and such. People who figure out how to sell more absorbent diapers to moms between the ages of 24 and 35 and who watch The Voice, drive Buicks and use their Kroger cards for the gas discounts. Nice folks, cordial. You know…nice.
But the folks I really dig are the freaks. Friends who see the world through a different lens. The ones with that strange glint in their eyes, who have talents – natural or learned – that are unconventional, and are a bit strange, sometimes misunderstood. Friends who are video editors and animators and guitar players and sculpters. The French horn player and the speed painter, a variety of writers, poets, photographers, audio engineers and a couple set designers and a plethora of graphic designers. I know a guy who rappels down a building dressed as Santa Claus, a woman who’s a certified dog whisperer, a pyrotechnician, a guy known as Wack, another fella who runs a couple independent theaters, a retired high school counselor/professional photographer turned walking food tour guide, a juggler and a magician.
Conversations with these folks are never dull. And for a guy who digs a good story, that makes them all the more engaging. They march to their own beat, and you find yourself wanting to follow along. Oh sure, some of them have conventional jobs, but they aren’t necessarily defined as such. I see them as French horn players and rappellers, regardless of the way they bring home the bacon. Those offbeat qualities are their oxygen, their reasons for being, the identities they see in themselves. It’s those quirks and twists that make life interesting, shake things up, make us really live.
As Charles Bukowski – letter carrier, poet, and chief executive freak – once said, “Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead."
Go crazy, man.
June 12, 2015