Always in the Wrong Flock

I came from an upper-middle class family. Sufficiently ‘upper’ to belong to a top country club, an exclusive yacht club, and to have a fine city home and a fine summer home on a lake. The catch is; I hated it. I liked having a speedboat, a sports car and a free credit card; after all, I was a teenager. At the same time, I hated the kind of people among whom I lived. I hated the country club ways, and the people that gathered there. If you’ve seen ‘Goodbye Columbus’, you get a look at what it was like. It wasn’t for me.

I like simple people. Honest people with car payments and rent problems like average people. So I lived among simple, hard-working people. I became a simple, hard-working person. I worked in a wholesale fabric warehouse, assistant to the shipper. But I was always separate. Most of those people are devoted Christians. I’m a devoted Atheist. I speak in a more accurate way than my neighbours, and it’s obvious to them. I know some things about art, theatre, and music. They know country music, agriculture and animal husbandry. The people in my area tapped the trees and boiled sap into maple syrup. I helped neighbours with that, just for the love of the experience.

After a few years, I had some friends in the area, but still at arm’s length. I dated women I met on the Internet, so I could seek some that were from a somewhat similar background to mine. They were just small social events among people who wanted to spend less time alone. I believe some of the women would like to have formed relationships with me. To avoid misunderstanding, I always made it clear that my intent was to enjoy with her, some dinners, some movies or concerts, some picnics and goodnight. Each always agreed that it was simply keeping company. These women were usually up to twenty years younger than I was, and a relationship wouldn’t work.

I felt fed up with being semi-accepted in my community and in my private life. I decided to change up, although I’m not sure that the wealthy community is up and not down. Especially during the era of Trump. In any case, I sold out and took my talents into advertising. I used my art and writing commercially. I also created and wrote a television series. I was soon able to buy my way into the pinnacle class of Private Clubs. The average member family had at least a billion dollars. I wore the right suits, I spoke the right words and dated the right ladies. Still, I was again on the fringe.

It was the reverse of the simple, hard-working people. These people never worked. They only lived high and wasted excessively on grandpa’s efforts and innovation. They collected art by price more than quality. They supported operas but rarely attended. Their children were ghastly and destined to replicate their decadent parents. I didn’t fit in. I couldn’t stand them.

Finally, I realized that I’m deeply antisocial, and all of these different levels of society don’t fit me, nor I them. I took a job as a lighthouse keeper. Now I sit out there on that rock, the sea around me leaping and dancing, while I make lunch. Sometimes I paint pictures. Sometimes I watch seabirds, plunging and rising with their struggling prey held tightly in their sharp beaks. I have my dog. He and I have an excellent, calming relationship, and all is well in the lighthouse. My flock is me and my dog.

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