Wednesday, January 2, 2008

individuality overdose

Stan was like every other boy his age in that he wanted to be just like everybody else but still retain a vague sense of individuality. In all other ways he was totally different from other boys his age. And if you say that the other boys are also boys, then I'll remind you 1) you are talking to a story that has already been written, you won't convince the story to change now 2) you are not allowing the story to unfold naturally like the petals of a flower, a soggy accordion, or the pages of a book.

So back to the story...

Stan was keen to be influenced by peer pressure but was hard pressed to find a peer that was forceful enough to influence him. He was the equivalent of an autistic savant who only understood his own need for social acceptance. His comprehension of his own isolation was so profound that people would come from miles around to see just how lonely he could be. One and all, they were impressed by Stan's stark portrayal of loneliness. Comments ranged from, "looking at Stan is like you're drowning in his own sorrow", to "staring at Stan was like being microwaved to death in a sensory deprivation iron maiden".

As the years wore on, many other attractions were added near and around the Stan exhibit. A slacker exhibit which blurred the lines of slack by its use of coma patients rather than actual slackers was a particular hit. Examples of displays that never quite caught on were such flops as, Dudes with Suds, Jocks with Zubaz, and Turd Flingers. The Turd Flingers debacle was a shock to the parents who arranged the showing. They assumed that since monkeys were so popular, humans with the same antics would be a boon. The reality was that most families weren't willing to pay great fees to see the same things that happen on a daily basis in their own homes.

A stark comprehension of a singular petrifying reality was still worth coughing up some serious bread. Anyone who knew anyone knew that they could never be as alone as Stan. Seeing him suffer in his chronic involuntary detachment remained a great comfort to many. The thousands of onlookers somehow intensified and focused his already obscene estrangement.

One day a particularly depressive dental school dropout decided to walk through the displays because he had a few minutes to spare before killing himself. When he got to the Stan exhibit he was shocked by what he saw. A single hand movement. Was that a wave? Again, there was another almost undetectable movement of a hand. ExPreDent waved back and saw what appeared to be a smile. Although ExPreDent had never visited the Stan exhibit before, he had heard about it and seen Stan on all the magazine covers. He knew this was Stan, but he was acting so different, and even though the communication was minimal, Stan was expressing himself more than ever before.

Having been there to see all of this, made ExPreDent change his mind. He climbed down the steep concrete wall using a piece of a sturdy vine to lower himself to Stan's level. He said to Stan, "Why of all people did you pick me to communicate with?" Stan replied, "Because I knew no one would believe you."

Stan and ExPre sat up all night talking and laughing about uninteresting thoughts they had throughout their lives but never felt like sharing with anyone else. At least that's what appears to have happened. Both Stan and ExPre were found dead the next morning lying in a pool of their own sarcasm. Shards of crystalized thoughts were found as far as 30 meters from the corpses, and the fragments seemed to make up complex hyperbolic allegoric palindromes written in some hybridized variant of pig latin, esperanto and calculus.

Without Stan the exhibits seemed pointless, because there was no longer a clear benchmark for isolation and sadness. The loneliest person in the world could be just about anybody.

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