by syaffolee

A Certain Kind of Authority Problem

I value my personal space. There’s approximately a three foot radius around me that I consider sacred ground. If anyone steps into this circle suddenly and without permission, my awareness is heightened and I slightly recoil. If they could read my mind, my intentions would be hostile.

On the outside, you wouldn’t see anything different. I’d be smiling and saying, “Hi! How are you?” Privately I’d be thinking, What do you want? Move back or go away! Perhaps it’s hormones, but it would be juvenile to blame it on PMS (which I’ve never had) when the real problem is with myself.

I’m a loner. Oh, all sorts of things may have contributed to this quirk, undesirable in a society that prides itself on cooperation and co-mingling: being picked last for the recess soccer game, sitting alone at the lunch table, choosing to read instead of playing bridge with my fellow geeks. These things could have been consciously remedied, but I’ve always had this fear that if I imposed myself on people, they would expect something in return.

But this fear is stupid and useless. Even if I haven’t imposed on anyone, they expect something of me anyway. It’s the authority problem. If someone wants me to do something, fine I’ll do it, but just leave me alone while I’m doing it. I like my little illusions that I’m doing it because I want to. The illusion is shattered if some taskmaster stands over me, breathing down my neck and shrieking, “No! Not that way!”

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Textbook Publishers Learn to Avoid Messing With Texas. Politics and education shouldn’t mix. Next thing you’ll know, the teachers will be telling third graders that Mickey Mouse was the first governor of California, Davy Crockett invented the telephone, and 2 + 2 = 5.

UK Chile-Head. A few years ago, Mom decided to plant some chile. They grew so abundantly that we had to start giving them away. Then people started complaining that they were too hot.

Periodical Cicada Page. They came for my high school graduation. Hundreds of thousands of them–they swarmed the trees, the bushes, the sidewalks. I imagined that they had come out of their larval stage just to see and hear me speak. But that little bit of egoism only lasted about a minute. These cicadas were the insect world’s equivalent of loud obnoxious frat boys trying to pick up drunk sorority girls. Their sexual frenzy was a constant buzz permeating the day. Instead of the solemn procession expected through Pomp and Circumstance, there were girly shrieks when certain cicadas (the ones that were too adventurous) were trampled under spiky heels. And when I got up to the podium, one cicada got up too to perch directly on the microphone. Buzzzz buzzz buzz The idiot was trying to do his best impression of Right Said Fred during a graduation ceremony. So much for my speech about cheese.