The Protocols of the Strange

I’m beginning to realize just how strange people really are. I suppose as a child I never cared to notice, and now I wish I had remained like that; ignorant, naive, and innocent. The world was a much more splendid place. That’s because I wasn’t living in the world. I had my own fantasies to attend to, and they required so much of my attention that I didn’t have time to notice the world. But I never minded, and I still wouldn’t mind if that was all I cared to patronize. Things were always beautiful then, and either they got ugly or I was un-blinded. I’d rather still be blind, that way they could get ugly all they wanted and still be beautiful.

But, back to the strangeness. It has nothing to do with the foreignness. I am not that kind of person. Who am I to label foreigners here? I’m the foreigner, and I suppose I’m strange to them. But their strangeness is one of indifference. I’ve noticed this back at home as well. It seems that people don’t care about what they’re going to do. They have no interest whatsoever in learning the fascinating things of the world. How can people go about day by day doing absolutely nothing with themselves? The real trouble of our education is not that the students dislike what they’re learning; they don’t care that they’re learning at all! Why, then, are they here in the classrooms wasting away like corpses in the sun? But of course, I know the answer. We can only hope that something of significance will come out of the toil. As for myself, I will keep my opinions suppressed. It’s no good giving myself a voice if it will be ridiculed after. I’d rather stay seated high and proper with my legs and fingers crossed like a lady. And that’s what I am: a student and a lady, destined to be significant, doomed to be insignificant, according to the protocols of the strange.

Catherine Joy


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