On Being Different
I wrote a play a long time ago when I was in high school titled “On Being Different.”
It was awful, really awful, but at the same time it was creative in terms of staging. At least, I thought it was creative. Really, it was just awful. There’s a copy of it somewhere on the internet. I used to have it posted up at [redacted], back when I didn’t really have a blog… just a set of HTML pages that had all my work on it.
On that site, I had 71 poems as well. I tried to find them again using the WayBack Machine, but, unfortunately all the poems actual pages have not been archived. I thought I’d keep those poems around forever, haha, but most all of them are lost now. Even the really good one I wrote at my short stint at CU.
I’ve experimented with writing some more poetry again. I’m trying to get back into being creative, and poetry was always a good exercise for my writing mind.
I’ve decided that I was doing better in the past when I gave myself some sort of job. What I mean by that is that when I sat down and said, “My job is a robot psychologist,” I felt like I had more of a purpose. Something to focus my efforts, interests, and energy. I thought Original Pursuits Society could do this, but alas, the idea for that is very wide and broad and unfortunately because of that it’s unfocused. This has always been a problem with Original Pursuits Society and the organization its based on (my old high school club).
I suppose the time for something like my old high school club has really passed. I mean, I’m not giving up on Original Pursuits Society, it’s still around, I just haven’t devoted a lot of time to it. The thing about my old high school club was that I created a place where other people could come and be welcomed into a nice little community / clique of friends. Was it always successful in this goal? Probably not, but it tried to be. In high school then, I was the leader of a clique that allowed anybody in… something the more positive side of me would create.
I always talked about wanting to have some kind of community, some kind of group I could belong to. It’s funny because even when I had my old high school club I still had the same feelings. I think it was really an off shoot of basically feeling lonely because I couldn’t have a significant other. But really, when I look at it, I did have a community I belonged to, I did have a group that loved me, and I loved them, my friends. It’s just unfortunate that, these days two of the people I loved the most betrayed me, in their own ways. And I betrayed them.
I always feel like I have to be the one that creates this kind of community. I’ve pined after the experience of being allowed / introduced to some group that already exists where I can fit in. On the surface, it always seems to happen to other people. I’m always the one that heads / creates / encourages the group. There have been times when that’s not the case, like when I used to hang out with [redacted] and [redacted] at the Art Institute on the weekends. Sometimes I just want to be Daniel in Associated Student Bodies, and just kind of come in and discover a lovely group. I just have no idea where to look. I’ve never known where to look.
When I used to hang out with Kevin and would air my frustrations about being gay and not being able to have a significant other (and yes, I asked Kevin… I was desperate!) we would think of this person for Asher. This magical person that was the same kind of intensity and strangeness that was Asher. We really built it up, at least, I really built it up, and we looked out there on the internet. We were also what, 16 maybe 17?
It’s funny now that I have a significant other. In his own way he is magical, there’s no one I’ve ever met like him. But, it’s not the same magic I envisioned. This is the difference between fantasy and reality. I spent my entire childhood and adolescence in a fantasy world of unrequited love… I was never able to experience reality until I was an adult. But when I was hit with this reality, I freaked out, and was put on conditioning medication. I don’t think I’ve ever been able to actually face this actual reality without being chemically altered. Now do my desires make more sense?
And yet, though I have this significant other, I’m still looking. I’m still looking for some group, some small community, some gaggle of cool interesting friends. Really, even just one platonic and intensely interesting male friend would be enough. It was enough for a couple years, but then… it was all a lie. I thought I found this person, and it was all a lie.
I miss the ‘middle days’ of being gay and furry. We were talking about it yesterday with Captain and Maus in Colorado Springs (when they went to see their voice teacher). So many things in the furry world and the gay world have changed. I remember when I was at CU, and it was still somewhat dangerous and controversial to be gay. In some places in the nation I’m sure it still is. I remember when most furries had a benevolence, an acceptance, and were intelligent (usually technically). When they were interesting people… and now, it’s just a lot of the same, and a lot of the same narrow minded interests.
I remember an imaginary world. Where everybody was friends, and sexuality was fluid. Where people had sex with anybody that they felt close to, even if they were in a relationship, and that was expected. I remember the camp, the camaraderie, the creativity, the fun, the bonding, the belonging. At least, I think I remember. But in reality, I don’t remember anything. It never happened. I just read about it.
Where do I find people who’ve headed up and created cool groups like I want? Do they exist as an adult? Do they exist outside of high school and college? Have they ever existed at all?
I guess one of the problems is that I’ve never really felt like I ‘fit in’ to anything ‘normal’ or basic. For instance, I love computer programming, but I find myself having difficulty gelling with the majority of programmers and all their left-brainedness. I love furry, but all I find the vast majority of the time are fur-fags. Whenever I try to narrow down one particular interest… I don’t fit.
Now we’re big people. Now we have expectations, and now we know things that we didn’t know. We can’t escape the stress, we can’t escape reality, and we can’t escape the pain. We can’t go back to a time that never existed. But…
We can create that which we want, we have the power to choose the life we want from now on.
I’ve decided I’m going to challenge myself with my self-assigned job. I’ve always thought of myself as being a programmer who does all these other things. I may be creative, may want to write or draw, but I’m really a programmer at heart. What if I turn that on its head? What if I decide I’m a writer, artist, designer first and foremost, and a programmer second?
I set myself the job of being a writer, particularly a furry writer, but came down with an extremely crippling creative block… then I kind of just wandered away and never really came back to anything. I devolved into a pile of light and darkness. Of total stuck-ness.
I’ve decided that I’m going to work through this block. I’m going to confront it head on. I’ve decided I’m going to be a creative person first. I’m going to be an artist / writer / game designer who just happens to have a background in programming.
For such a long time I’ve always wished I could be an artist, particularly a furry artist. I’ve always wanted to make my own comic book(s). I’ve always wanted to be an animator. Programming comes naturally to me, I’ve been doing it my whole life. But, I’ve always wanted to do this. And now, with this new attitude, this new self-awareness. This new sense of life, to put it as Rand might, I might as well do it. Like my mother said, why not?
We’ve already shown that I can learn to draw. There’s nothing wrong with my ability to draw, it just needs practice and education. I can draw a comic book. I can draw furries. I know I can, I just have to actually practice doing it. I can write, I’ve done it before.
Maybe… in a way, I can create a world where the things I wish for in real life can exist in the fictional world. And in that way, perhaps that way alone, they will be in my life.
The other thing I’ve noticed is that I’ve developed into a very lonely person. What I mean by that is that I’ve taken relationships I’ve had for granted, not really thinking about them or enjoying them. There’s a certain day to day quality to love and life, that I’ve kind of forgotten how to appreciate. But, I see it now, and I love it. Part of all of it is that you have to act, you have to do something. You have to choose. You have to speak. What you give, you’ll get in return.
I wrote a poem. Here it is:
By Asher Wolfstein
In night sweats I still lay,
Shades of cold, so far away
Anger on repeat, point complete,
Ditches titanic, tears chthonic
Morality mnemonic, words tectonic
Love unspoken, always choking
Couldn’t affront, didn’t confront,
Stood beside you, hand in hand,
Learned to grow, tended the land
Garage again today, smiles forsake
Truck window landscapes
Can’t cry, won’t be moved,
Fear dies, won’t preclude
Try to reach, can only feel
Don’t teach, only know
Resigned mothers, cereal dinners,
Never have, always hold
Dreary color, wrong decade
Dwell forever, never escape
Fertile grounds, sunlight scrapes
Six feet under, smoke and pain
Pounding rain, clouds regain
Sad life will spring again
Before you get too far ahead of yourself it’s only partly biographical. Nobody is an alcoholic, nobody died. This is just a poem, it doesn’t have to be my memoirs. I was inspired to write this because of some situations that have been affecting me lately that seem irreconcilable, and that all you can do about them is hurt.
I think this poem is lacking a certain something, but I can’t put my finger on it yet. Maybe too little imagery? Maybe to vague?
Anyways, I shared it on my FurAffinity page, where I’ll be posting more poetry and stories and such. I’ll probably publish it on SoFurry as well, written work gets much more attention there.
So… To write! To draw! To design!