More about the Trapezium

So I am adopting the name of ‘the Trapezium’ because I feel like I need to have an official name for myself versus the other trapeziums. But I will not use the capital The because that seems pretentious.

Here is some more background on me, there will substantially more to come, so don’t worry if this all seems a bit cursory. Trust me, I can tell more stories than you will ever care to listen to.

The Trapezium has always been a bit off. From looking back at all my earliest memories, I can tell now that I was never like the regular shapes at all. My first memories are from around the time when I learned to read. Before that, all I have are small ‘flashbulb memories’ that have nothing but a picture and a sound. There are no words or talking in those early memories. I also have no memory of learning how to read, it is like I just knew it one day when I woke up.

I got in trouble numerous times for reading inappropriate material in school. For some reason, the first grade teacher thought that I should not be reading “The Hot Zone”. I guess Ebola was a bit much for my classmates, but I was so fascinated with Ebola. I also vaguely remember describing the wonders of hemorrhagic fevers to my classmates and reenacting the finale in which the patient vomits up their own liquefied internal organs. I feel like that might explain why I had very few friends at that time.

Anyways, I got through elementary school unscathed, like most children I suppose. But middle school was rough. I think we need to get rid of middle school. Send the kids to Disneyland for 3 years. Nothing is really learned in middle school, it’s just an awful experience.

I was bullied a lot in middle school. I was a very easy target. I was overweight, my clothes never fit right, my family was poor, I didn’t shower very regularly, my hair was a disaster. Those were just the physical things, I made it far worse with my actions. I was obsessed with Lord of the Rings, and taught myself to sew so that I could make my wizard robes. Which, I am ashamed to admit that I wore to school one day. I deserved to laughed at that day.

All of this bullying bothered me a lot, of course. But what really got to me was when my ‘friends’ started bullying me. I was in the smart kid classes (LEAP they called it) because I had scored ridiculously high on an IQ test in 5th grade. I know the number, but I don’t want to brag. Anyways, these kids were supposed to be like me. They were supposed to be smart, open, and good kids – they were supposed to be my refuge from the terrors of middle school.

But they soon became my nightmare. They began to make fun of me for being dumb. I could deal with all the other bullies. They only made fun of things that I could fix. I could exercise and lose weight, I could buy clothes that fit me, I could take showers every morning, I could someday hope to not be poor, and I could certainly never wear my wizard robe to school again. But I could not change being dumb. “You can’t fix stupid”, as Ron White said so eloquently.

They kept reminding me that I was the token dumb kid that they let in to their class to make the rest of them look good. I eventually internalized that mindset and considered myself to be ‘dumb’ until I got through college. I never really questioned it, they told me what I was and I accepted, because surely middle-schoolers would not lie. That demographic is so well known for their honesty. Once I joined the ‘real world’ I realized that I was in fact not dumb at all, but just very different from those around me. But that’s another story to come later.

I think what those nasty smart kids were getting at was that I was in fact different from them. And being immature rich brats who had constantly been told that they are smarter than everyone else around them, they naturally assumed that anyone who is different than them must be dumb.

Shortly after I lost that safe place, I began desperately searching for a place where I could belong. I went through a long and painful series of teenage phases. The first phase was where I pretended to be an elf – Tolkien style, not Keebler. That was a pretty bad one to start out on, I got made fun of a lot for talking in a British accent and walking on my tiptoes everywhere. There was my goth year where I wore all black every day, including combat boots and a trench coat. There was my emo phase, which was similar to the goth phase but with purple hair. Then I had a punk rock phase where I wore a lot of leather and spikes everywhere, and yes I dyed my hair red and did liberty spikes several times. After that I had a stoner phase, only I never smoked anything, I just really liked the beach look. I rocked a pooka shell necklace and a Bob Marley shirt most every day, and used the word ‘tubular’ far more than anyone should ever use it. I had a brief Hawaiian shirt phase, brief mainly because Hawaiian shirts were too expensive (thankfully). I also had a phase where I pretended to be a character from MASH for most of a winter…yeah that was a weird one.

None of those led to me gaining any long term friends. I got bored with all the random ‘phase friends’ I made because they didn’t have enough to interest me. I still struggle with that today. People are just mostly boring. I can figure them out in a few seconds and then I am bored with them. Most people have a job, and maybe a significant other or a small family, and that’s it. Most people don’t have a dream or a goal for themselves, they don’t have a plan to do something one day. Most people don’t have any hobbies or interests, and most people are not able to maintain an intellectual discussion for more than 2 minutes (not that I am a big fan of long conversations, but if they are intellectual then I can talk for hours). Most people are more interested in reality TV and talking about the news. I think everyone needs to have a crazy dream. Even though I know that I will never live in my own well designed castle and staff it with an army of well trained (and impeccably dressed) Capuchin monkeys (all named Sir Richard of course), that silly dream helps me get through a lot of difficult times. (I have no clue if I am using parenthetical asides correctly here. I hope that I am, because I used to be a technical editor many years ago when I was but a young lad.)

I never understood why people are so boring. There are so many things to do and so many new things to learn! As Harvey Danger said, “If you’re bored then you’re boring”. I have never once in my life been bored. I can always find 500 things that I could do at any given moment. Now I constantly struggle with choosing which one to do, but that is different.

Sorry, I strayed off topic there for a while. That happens with trapeziums a lot, I gather. We tend to go off on tangents (See what I did there? Another math pun!). And tangents are great. Most of my thoughts are loose tangents based on something I was once thinking about or if I am lucky, a tangent based on whatever I was supposed to be doing at that time. Anyway, I think that’s enough for now.

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