The Southern Rage to Explain: an entry into memoir

I don’t know how old I was when I first realized that I couldn’t be human. I know that from my toddling years I was confounded by my inability to find commonalities among my friends, families, and those whom I was assured were my peers. When my Uncle Mike told me that my Mum had found me in a large green Dumpster down from their house, my likely abandonment by gypsies made my whole existence make sense.

Gypsies became an almost otherworldly race, almost but not quite people just like I was almost but not quite a person. Different-nearly always better-than the masses around me. It would be years before I learned of actual gypsies, and by then my mother had broken my heart by revealing the all too human, all too dysfunctional origins of my biological self and chaining me to my parentage. It was worse then, those differences in my character, in my psychology, in my nature. Without a tidy reason for my anomalous vices and virtues I placed the blame on the only logical recipient: Myself. I have since spent the better part of the past twenty-five years blaming myself for the sins of man and for how little we have in common.

But it is hard to find in that blame a flaw.

I suppose I am only one honest conversation with a psychiatrist away from being institutionalized. One discovery of a cache of bodies from being confirmed a sociopath. But I am high-functioning, and because I do not identify with them, I feel no need to kill the humans. One does not kill except for defense or food and we are biologically similar enough that my abhorrence for cannibalism is strong. Besides, carnivores never taste right. I would no more eat a human than an ape or a dolphin. Grazers are the way to go.

Humans are my least favorite animal. They rank right below polar bears–a species so malicious that they will wait by too rare airholes in the ice for a near drowning beluga to surface, just to rake their claws down the bodies of the whales as they gasp for precious air. They don’t do this for food, but for fun, and yet they’re immortalized in a caricature of cute for soda campaigns and Christmas themes. That’s how humans like their “nature.” Separate from themselves, harmless, romanticized, only anthropomorphized when the traits they’re being given are obviously human, not something possibly shared. Humans don’t like the idea of not having the market cornered on intelligence or cruelty. They don’t like knowing they are utterly a part of what they’re a part of.

If I’m wrong about being different, then I’m your case in point, for I have removed myself from the order more succinctly than they ever could. If I am wrong, then I am the distillation of humanity’s maladies, not the cure.



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