For the outcast, oddball, freak: a work in progress


     This shouldn’t have to be said by a stranger, a third party how great this man was. It shouldn’t be done at all; but I find myself before his family and friends feeling compelled to shake you, slap you and scream, “How could you not have seen how wonderful life was to him and because of him? He emulated compassion, intellect and creativity. How did you let the years slip away and not once tell him that he was loved, he was appreciated: that he was a somebody!” You pushed him out and away, and then, proceeded to compound that loneliness by finding fault in every attempt at any amount of success or failure. You ridiculed him, shamed him and let others do the same damn thing; only they were much more cruel and he was completely bereft of support, guidance and shelter. Did it make you feel better about yourself to point out him, to his quirks and shortcomings? Were you relieved that it was he who was singled out and not you? He was ostracized for being different, and he was different in that beautiful and rare manner only discovered by letting him BE himself! You couldn’t let well enough alone so you worked, yes! you deliberately set out, to box him into a standard, a nobody. You strove to break his spirit, debase his standards, dreams and desires. You consciously let him down and only felt so alive when you saw his smile drop like cut puppet strings. You trumpeted when his courage and convictions to go against the grain finally crumbled after years of systematic destruction! Your sorrow and regret lies not in the fact that this wonderful man is forever lost to us but in your selfishness to boohoo yourselves.

     That unique view of life that was solely his, was overshadowed by your negativity and resentment. You resented his joy and ability to march to his own beat. Just because you compromised yourselves to walk with the sheep pack and give up that most treasured light inside never meant he had to do the same: you wanted his voluntary self-sacrifice because misery loves company, right? Your jealousy and misplaced anger, anger that should have been directed at yourselves for conforming, inspired hate-filled taunts, fights and ugly confrontations that ate away at his heart and mind which created bewilderment in a person whose intentions were pure and benevolent! You and your peers brought out the most deviant side of yourself and reveled in it. He worked so hard to please you and understand you and none of you had the empathy to do the same for him. He tried to meet you halfway without having to die inside but that wasn’t good enough for you. Your bullheaded friends and family kept you from moving an inch towards cooperation, towards acceptance, in the name of friendship: you still can’t think for yourself, can you?

     He’s gone now and he’ll never have been told “normal” is weird. How can it be normal to go through life on the terms, demands and expectations of someone else? You had your chance to acknowledge his existence and anything you say or do now to rectify the situation is moot because you would be doing it for yourself, to alleviate your conscience and not for him. He should have been celebrated and encouraged to be an individual because God only knows he was always questioning his thoughts and criticizing himself: he didn’t need you to do that for him. Damn you for being such cowards and petty people! You destroyed a being that could have been tomorrow’s history books as a beacon of hope and solace for future “oddballs.” Every special trait he possessed should have been nurtured and it should have been you, not I, redeeming his dignity and worth right now. He was easy to love but you were too haughty to pay attention; actually, that’s giving you way too much credit – you were flat out ignorant and of cold heart to reach out to a drowning man. You’re criminals in the worst way because you’ll never be punished. But I, I hopefully have doled out some justice for him by telling you all this today.