Growing up as a nerd has never been particularly easy for anyone, but it was particularly difficult for me, as a scrawny little nerdchilde in a small east Texas town where the only good game is a football game, and the only good book is, well, the Good Book. God, guns, football and the baby Jesus. That’s Texas, if you add some cowboy boots and stupid hats.
Elementary school is fun. You learn how to share and care, and you get to have a great time being a kid with your friends who are also kids because the opposite sex doesn’t exist yet. Then middle school happens, and the kids who used to be your friends take up arms on the other side of the island before killing Piggy with a rock when he clearly had the conch and everything goes to shit because middle school is the worst.
I’m not okay.
It’s hard to admit that, and even harder to do it here, on a blog I only just recently decided to walk away from. People who do not like me (and they are legion) will treat this new post as a punchline to my last one, where I declared my intent to be done with this site. They’ll crack jokes and snicker, and do all the other horrible things Internet People do to make the lives of others a little less bearable.
Which is fine. I can take it. I’ve been dealing with that sort of person my entire life. For a very brief period in the Lord of the Flies middle school years, I was one of those people, and I’ll always regret it.
But now I’m past the point of caring about the opinions of people who just like watching others fail – for the moment, at least. Ask me again tomorrow, and I’ll probably be biting my fingernails and crying in the shower over how miserable they’ve made me feel. And an hour after that, I’ll have moved on to worrying about something else.
Because that’s how Depression works.
Although, I never actually realized that until literally just now, after Wil Wheaton told me that’s how it works.
Seven years. I’ve been plugging away at this blog for seven years and, for the most part, it’s been fruitless. Sure, it’s brought some work my way over the years – briefly, even a full time gig – but the law of diminishing returns kicked in a long time ago. I guess I just kept hoping I could power through it and eventually land on something that sticks. But I don’t think that’s ever going to happen.
I was not always the brilliant, acerbic genius I am today. There was a time when I was, in fact, a complete moron. I refer to this period as “all the times before right now”. So, just a second ago when I wrote that I was brilliant, I was just being stupid again. I was a fool back then, three seconds ago. I hate that person.
Of course, there are varying depths to my stupidity, and the farther to the left you go on the Timeline of Me, the deeper the waters get. Sometimes, there are sharks.
Hi! My name is Kristian, and that’s me over there on the left; or rather, it’s how my nine-year-old stepson sees me. Ok, well technically, it’s my version of a picture he drew of me, because he draws better than I do and I have no idea what I look like as a drawing. Apparently, this is how.
I look pretty typical, if a bit long in the torso. But that’s probably just a dad thing. And also cookies, because I eat a lot of cookies. Cookies are awesome.
Anyway, look closely at my smiling mug. Pay attention to my ears. Specifically, the one that looks like it has a big chunk missing. There’s a reason for that, and it’s not just because of my unsteady hand and unfamiliarity with drawing tablets and Photoshop.
It’s there because I have a chunk missing from my ear. My once beautiful, perfect ear.
However, no one knows exactly how it happened that my ear went from the very epitome of earish perfection to the deformed monstrosity it is now. No one even knows when it happened. I sure as hell don’t.