03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Do You Live in a Box?

I have a persecution complex. I'm afraid of speaking my truth. I don't believe in mainstream. I'm not impressed with fluff or fun or fanfare. I don't care about fashion. I won't dye my hair in order to be more attractive, more noticeable. I also won't wear my hair long because it is inconvenient for and irritating to me. Regardless of how many more men like long hair than short hair, I won't grow it again. I last grew it when my brother died. Two years of agony is how long it took me to be able to bend over, twirl it into a bun and stick a chopstick through it. That's what my goal had been. Two weeks later, I cut it all off. That was in 1995.

People before a certain date in history (?) were told to never discuss sex, politics or religion in mixed company. These are taboo subjects that will always split the room in half. They are the forbidden subjects because there are social codes one must respect when part of society. Yet, that which we shouldn't talk about is the only thing my selective listening can focus on.

Mundane gibberish about daily routines bores me to tears. Focusing on weather, hem lines, or what respectable considers worthy makes me shout, "Scotty, Beam Me Up!" So I was telling the folks about this complex of mine ... that I'm taping American Nazis this week because I feel I must become aware of it, that it could happen again at any time and that I then found an article in the New York Times today about a Nazi group stirring up and getting noticed. Whether it was putting Joan of Arc into the flame, or forever tattooing "Erica Jong, the Poet" as the originator of the "Zipless Fuck," women and men have been murdered for their strong stand on life. This isn't because what they said was wrong. It is because there are those who live to lynch.

Not empowered in their own lives, what excites these folks, and motivates them to move is the glee they get when attacking others. In kindergarten we are told that the mean kids put others down to make themselves feel better. That sticks and stones can break ... you get it. But words do hurt. I fear words of attack, or criticism, or ridicule. I fear putting myself out there. Displaying who I am and what I feel. Yet so often as I skulk through life, as I hide in corners, there is always someone there listening to me saying, "You've got to write this. You are not alone. You speak what others cannot articulate for themselves."

Then there is Group Think ... how numbers coordinate, why most people follow instead of lead, why it is easier to go after someone else rather then step on the path of light oneself. It is hard to govern oneself. It is difficult to distinguish what is God given talent and what skills truly give beyond what is rewarded with money. If I can melt others, why can't I melt myself? Consistently. Why must I care what happens to this mortal frame? Why let words hurt me? Why care what people think? If the satisfaction is in getting it out. If I stop tearing my inner forearms with jagged nails when the words finally start tumbling onto the page, why does it matter what anyone else has to say about it?

Do you feel more comfortable in the box? Or out of the box?