August 3, 2004

A Lonely Shoot

A lonely shoot.

My last day at Sigma Phi was yesterday. I'm back at home with my parents again.

According to my totally valid thoughts on psychology, an individual with prolonged social isolation is going to have some kind of neurosis. The same thing applies to larger social groups. For example, the home owner's association of my parent's neighborhood. I diagnosis this association, from prolonged isolation with the rest of the world and having an unacceptable internal logic, with hyper eccentric delusions of normality.

You can't park cars on your driveway overnight (with exceptions for parties). Oil stains on drive ways are forbidden. You can't build anything in your backyard that is visible from the street until you have it appoved by 10 neighbors; this means no erecting basketball hoops. (We have one that can be taken down).

We have a row of yound redwoods on one side of our property that faces a neighborhood street. Since they aren't dense enough to provide privacy, we built a wooden fence behind them with the intention to take the fence down once the trees were grown. A few years ago, our neighbors complained (with shouting and near assault) that that fence, facing their house, was inside-out, and it was unpleasant. We had to have it redone (so the fence studs would face inward instead of "in their face") or they would fine us some hundreds through the association. We had the landscapers flip the fence around. I hate this goddam place.

Hostile external circumstances, trapping me in the house, force me to work on my own stuff with extra (manic) zeal. Eccentric normality in the suburbs fosters my own neuroses. For example, just this morning I was reading an article in the New Yorker on Ed Ruscha that contained several terms that I didn't understand, so I told myself that I would read it again while looking up every single idea I wasn't familiar with on Google, so I could I have a comprehensive understanding of the article. I love Ed Ruscha, but is this going too far?

I'm a firm believer in the power of friends to moderate neurotic (sometimes self-destructive) thoughts and behavior. Even though I might be socially maladjusted and hate myself for it, an occasional phone call and visit from the outside (of my head) world will tell me ... it's okay. you're weird, but there's hope.

What this homeowner's association needs is a moderating friend. Like the real world. Snap out of your Republican delusions, all you neighbor-fining, enormous car loving, golden retriever owning, botox-injecting, guest home building neighbors. You can't have this one night stand with the perfect normal life forever.

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