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"I Think I'm Dumb"
posted November 8, 2007 @4:00p
The sign is the moment I become aware of my ears. At that point, I know something's wrong: either I've done something to completely embarrass myself, which is rare; or, more than likely, I'm extremely frustrated.

Gene, the old friend I had run into in Washington Square Park in NYC, had been on my mind all day long. Well... not just Gene... but the idea of Gene. When I spoke of him before, I didn't mention his physical appearance. Within two years, he'd gone from being young and energetic to turning grey, with most of the surface on each of his eyes being covered with cataracts. "I met this girl, things went real bad," he said, as he looked around the park and shook his head.

I was aware of my feet at the time, and had just finished soaking them in the fountain. I looked obviously fatigued and probably like I could use a good nap.

Gene examined me for a moment. "But you look good, man."

The idea that life happens to anybody and everybody, at any time, regardless of your social standing, fascinates me. Gene was one representation of that, and his examination was taking up most of my brain. Today has been a reflective one for some reason, and I've had whirlwinds of ideas go through my mind. Words have been stacking up in my head for months now, and I've been trying to organize at least a portion of them all day long.

In the beginning, I was going to describe the night I first encountered Gene and John and some of the other characters in the park. I was going to tell you about the dude that looked exactly like Richard Lewis, only with no shirt or shoes, and covered with open wounds. If I performed a song he really liked, he'd say, "that was AWESOME. MAN I just wanna KILL somebody right now. MAN! Don't you?" He'd get especially excited when I covered The Beatles. the way, I never knew how to answer his kill-somebody comment, so I'd reply, "no... not that much, no. But it's pretty awesome out here."

Anyway, I was going to describe that entire night, but... I got a little sidetracked.

By my ears.

I notice my ears when their temperature rises and I can actually feel them hovering over each side of my head, like two fresh, over-sized corn muffins. Frustration caused the warm-up this time, and the biggest contributor to my frustration is, overwhelmingly, the absence of logic.

I've been overweight, skinny, nearly bald, long-haired, clean-cut, and had facial hair so long it looked like a beard-of-bees. I've dressed sharply, mildly metro-ly, casually and even homelessly. And at every stage of appearance, people, for the most part, treated me differently. It's almost like I've been a walking social experiment.

I know that it's human nature to be prejudice. In order to survive, you kinda have to be. For example, if you're preparing to merge on the expressway, and there's a car in the right lane travelling at a high rate of speed, you don't pull out in front of them. You have to pre-judge, I get that. As humans, we can't help that.

But treating people vastly differently because of the way they look is just illogical. The gang that had my back in L.A. wasn't concerned that I didn't look like the rest of their crew...

Come to think of it, Gene didn't care either.


it is rather crazy that people feel the need to judge others based on thier appearance. I mean its one thing to look at someone who smells bad and judge that they are dirty, but anything beyond that is just silly. You smell bad so you must be a killer... Now thats too far. I totally agree with you J. Good to see you are still out there. Take Care Bro!

posted by Michael on 11/8/2007 @4:21:40 PM

Hey thanks man. I'm still kickin. Good to hear from you.

posted by Jason Wells on 11/19/2007 @10:19:31 AM
Good blog, wonderfully written. Its sad though people judge a book by its cover...and I've noticed it, since my looks can change from...preppy/dressy to homey/poor depending on my mood or even my job (got to dress up). Its not fair..but unluckily that is how the world turns. Thankfully there a few who don't judge a book by its cover and treats everyone the same..

posted by Kimberly on 11/8/2007 @11:22:15 PM

There must just be a few, a tiny portion of the population. We should all get together and start some kind of club or something.

posted by Jason Wells on 11/19/2007 @10:20:28 AM
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