What You'd Unexpect
Apparently, I'm quite the two-faced fink. Much like you'd expect an ol', salty seadog to be more himself on the wide blue than in a fancy French restaurant (assuming he wasn't in the French navy), I give people a split set of complimenting impressions. Time and again, I've noticed this coming up. Well, less noticed, really, than it being directly stated to my face. Only reason it stands out in my mind is since this is basically the only time I am addressed in person.
The first time it came up was back in high school. Oh, what dreadful days those were. It's no surprise that most of my memories relate to the raucous art room. Or, maybe it is. I dunno. This spiel is directly about false expectations. One time, after going on some wild tangent, which although not clearly recalled I'm certain had several changes to my voice, held both sides of an imaginary conversation, and who knows how much other brow-raising oddities, I noticed that some fellow art student was giving me a look. Not a good one, mind now, like "come hither" or "I'm gonna give you money" (it has a look, don't deny it). It was more like she had just seen someone climb into a fish (regular sized, not people sized) and swim away. I had to inquire what was wrong, and her answer was simply that she had never seen me speak before, and here I was now incapable of shutting up.
Years later, someone I knew of back in high school ('cuz I really never "know" anyone, quite purposefully) looked me up, I guess. It's not like I make it hard. I have bread crumbs scattered across the web going back a decade and a very large footprint on the internet. After just a brief exchange, she very quickly, too, was taken back by behavior. Allegedly, I came across as somewhat, oh, cheeky, I guess would fit well. Don't really see why that side of me would come up in regular conversation. I don't believe I ever held actual words with most anyone at that school that weren't related to tutoring. Take dead bodies out from in front of me, and I'll have to shift my humor gears from "morbid and revolting" to "perverted and obscene".
So, by now my extended stay at college was winding to a close. Pretty much the last thing on my plate was a "fun" group project which included a commercial/video/what have you to sell/support its marketability. In said shill, I donned a very poorly fitting suit and took on the role of the cheesy spokesperson. I would link to the You Tube of it, but there's, like, no sound whatsoever which destroys any value in it That, and I loath the Tube. Anyhoo, after the then audiable presentation, I was approached by a classmate. Following the trend, she had no idea that I was "like that". The only thing she ever saw me do was slip into classrooms at the outskirts while hunched over a notebook. I mean, that's my assumption anyway, as I don't believe I ever did anything else. People probably didn't know that I was doodling obnoxious cartoons in my lerched state.
Flash forward to my temporary employment after college. Somehow, old cartoons and their themesongs were the topic of discussion, as opposed to actually doing work, and I mentioned Dark Wing Duck as a good example. Since they didn't recognize the Disney super hero by name, I tried to jog memories by busting out an impromtu redention of it. Needless to say, it got some curious gazes. And, this group was familiar with me being a total nut case. One time on a bet (that I proposed), I finished through the day only using a high pitched, cracking voice reminescent of a awkward teenager (yes, that is different from how I normally sound, althought barely). I even caught these people off guard.
Shimmy on over to my current (as of writing this) occupation, where a discussion broke out about, somehow, me. It was more focused on factors that actually mattered (as I matter not), but I was adjacent to it. The two other involved parties, interestingly enough, had very opposing views. One attested to how cloistered and reserved I was when he started his employment in the lab while the other never found any hint of shyness on me. Of course, she wasn't a college aged, frat-boyish douche-type, so I wouldn't have had any reason for saving quarter. The prior was, professionally speaking, a subordinate and needed fielded out to discern how well my bizarre everything would set. The latter was post-grad who needed to come to me for information and instruction. Since her work wasn't directly part of my lab or projects, she was more like a wounded mouse getting batted around for kicks. Wouldn't be seeing her every day, so she could think of me as "that weirdo in the dungeon" without making everyday hell. Of course, I still am "that weird in the dungeon", but it's not "that weirdo". Italics makes all the difference!
What it boils down to is that I am, at heart, a goal oriented person. Little as it seems, I try to accomplish things. When not doing anything, I'm then thinking about what I am going to do in the future. When matters of business are at foot, I only aim to get that task complete. The people, including myself, involved are just cogs turning to accomplish said goal, nothing else. Cogs don't have personal lives and don't need their feelings spilled. You remove the machine from the equation, and the gears suddenly turn back into people, but at this point, I'm moving on to find another machine. If I'm not interacting with people (which pretty much means "working directly with"), then they are background to me. Do something or be nothing. I'm a pre-occupied guy. I can't be talking to other people; I'm too busy talking to myself like a lunatic (no joke). Besides, it's not like I'm the type who could just walk up to people and introduce himself or vice versa. I really couldn't be, what with a bald ugly head and looking like I could fall over dead at any moment from malnutrition. Talking to random people would be like me trying to pick up a conversation with a aforementioned French sailor -- we don't speak the same language. Things would be hella awkward. I've always been one to hold the belief that actions weigh more on others than words alone. From what's been gathered from prior happenings, I was correct.
Still, it bothers me a bit that I'm not widely known as, well, borderline psychaotic. My last two jobs, where I am/was closely working with my colleagues rather than being contained in some distant quarters, know me only as a crazed jester. Or a freak, I'm not really sure which. Both, why not? The things that spout from my mouth spur reactions ranging from disbelief, revolt, face palming, and probably something that could be called like laughter. Not friendly laughter, now. There's something uneasy about it. Between the voice modulation and fabricated scenarios taken as fact, I leave little room for anything else, from them or myself. What do regular people talk to each other about at work? Their personal life or family? I have an accumulation of scripts and lines for various skits and shows which some parts call for a dinosaur hand puppet to speak in a purposefully poor British accent. Not regular people, this guy me.
And that's what irks me. I have bountiful accumulations like that and have been hoarding them for over a decade. This stuff is time stamped, so when I say I've always been this deranged, I have documentation to back it up. Still, no one ever sees this side of me. There's probably, oh, ten people who know how truly utter bat-shit I am. It's normally walled up in a poorly lit room away from anyone and everyone (I think some governing body decreed that for public safety). Still, I wish I could change that. I wish the satirical, profane rantings of Over Critical could get out there. I long to air my endless spiels that compare dating to cereal and resteraunts. I want the non-sequitor, damningly obscene Slew of Fools bits written in high school, with full drug references and magic powers in tact, to make its viewers pray for my soul. I'm afraid I'll have to, I dunno, follow through on these to actually establish the type of lunatic I am.