Advantages of Isolation  

rm_smosmof2 67M
963 posts
4/5/2006 8:48 pm

Last Read:
8/16/2006 10:34 pm

Advantages of Isolation


I don't expect that title to draw people in the way "Sex and Politics" did, but what can I say? They can't all be winners, and it's an appropriate title for tonight's dissertation.

Most of my life, I've been invisible. No, let me correct that, most of my adult life, I've been invisible. Through high school, I was always one of the smartest kids in the place, and I knew it, and I was always showing off in class. I was not at all liked by the other kids and became pretty well isolated.

After I dropped out of college, I found my way into the sub-culture of science fiction fandom. Fandom mostly consists of a number of individuals who are brighter than usual, but are either emotionally or socially retarded. I'd found a home. I ended up in the group that was responsible for running most of the non-professional sf cons in the Los Angeles area. (A professional convention is actually more of the kind of exhibition you saw in the movie Galaxy Quest, where the people who run the "show" pay celebrities to show up, appear on stage, and sign autographs. A non-professional convention is where lots of people with similar interests show up and rub elbows with their favorite writers, and maybe will get to see a celebrity or two, if the studio is doing any "directed" publicity at the science fiction audience. The annual San Diego Comics Convention in July ((by whatever name it's going under these days)) is kind of a combination of the two, as well as being the largest of its kind, by a fair margin, in the world.)

So I got involved in running conventions and bidding for conventions (fans from a city will go around to other city's conventions to attempt to convince the fans there that the World SF Con should be voted to their home city in the next couple of years. I have never really been the front man for anything (well, hardly ever) but I'm always somewhere near the shoulder of the person who is in charge, trying to expedite whatever needs to be done at the moment. Since I used to dress relatively conservatively at all times, I tended to blend into the background... I'm not as blatant as the utter slobs, and I could be mistaken for a hotel person by the casual observer. It's actually useful, a lot of the time, for an expediter to be invisible in this way. I would hang back until something needed to be done, step forward and deal with it, and then slip back into the shadows again to wait for the next mini-crisis.

This went on for years. Then, six years ago, I fell in love with one of the most beautiful women on this planet (who also had one of those stereotypical brick shithouse bodies). It was impossible to go anywhere without being highly visible, because she would draw attention from everywhere just by being there. And there I was standing next to her in the spotlight (causing every guy in the room to wonder "what the heck does she see in him?). It took some adapting for me.

She moved out last November, and now I get to go back to being invisible again. Actually, I've gone to not being around at all, currently, because I now have a job that consumes most of my available time. And in this job, I end up being alone, like, 90% of the time (actually, these days, I have one other guard next to me, so that if more than one crisis happens at time, we have a chance of dealing with both of them.)
For the last couple of months, I've been by myself, pretty much, between midnite and 8 AM. Then I go home. Recently I started roaming around here, and, despite 80 some emails, I felt pretty invisible again. (Actually, the tide has turned a little, and I do suddenly have some "conversations" going on.)

But that's ok. Being invisible can be very liberating. I can say whatever I feel like saying and not worry too much about offending anyone, because after all, no one's paying attention, are they?

I know that isn't true. Somebody's watching. Not all that many, and virtually no one is leaving comments, but somebody's out there looking at these things. Clearly a catchy title like "Sex and Politics" brings them in. I think I probably caught a different kind of attention with "Roar of the Reefers" (I flinched the first time someone on the job used that term for the refrigerator units that keep the travel trailers cold).

Now, if I actually build up a real audience, I may be in trouble.....


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