He tells me that I'm not as strange as I think I am.
I've known him for years and across states. And he tells me I'm not weird, that I'm normal. Just like him.
I tell him that maybe, instead, he's not as normal as he thinks.
But it's not enough. What he said bothers me. Especially when I see the strange and unusual, the wunderkammers I love and identify with, become commercial and mainstream.
I can't say it's bad that the strange and unusual has become far enough mainstream to earn some people money. Being starving doesn't give one's art more legitimacy.
But I have never fit in with "normal" folks either - even when they've liked some of the same things I do. Our shared experiences and interests only overlap a small bit.
It was a church that clued me in.
It's not just churches, though. It's churches and political parties and businesses and clubs and ... well, just about every sub-group out there. They don't just want you to join. They don't want you to just participate in your own terms.
They want you to assimilate. You get restrained by the associations and ties that go along with being "normal".
Attend the meetings. Get on a committee. Do this, do that, vote this way and think that way. Become indistinguishable. Become like them.
And that is what scares me about being normal. That is why I do not ever want to be "normal".
Because you can never be normal enough. They always want more.
Until you're one of them as well.