Okay, I’m feeling arrogant enough tonight to start my own thread, and narcissistic enough to use myself as a springboard. Hey, talking about oneself comes easy, right?
I came to the realization, while walking my dogs (I tend to do that a lot; both dog-walking and realization-having-while-dog-walking) that I use a great number of my personal effects as a shield against other people, woven together into a Security Quilt of sorts.
I have a bomber jacket that I tend to wear rain or shine, come hell or high water. “+1 AC Impromptu,” I joke. But armor it is. Makes me feel more solid. I’m an ectomorph, so sometimes I feel like I’d blow away in a stiff wind. An acquaintance of mine who’s made a hobby of guessing people’s weights tells me it adds about five pounds to my apparent frame. Even when it’s hot I wear this jacket. It creates a certain front against people who intrude on me unannounced. They don’t rattle me as much when I am so girded. It comes off in specific situations, or when I’m made uncomfortable despite the extra security it provides.
In the left inside pocket of my jacket I keep my iPod, on most days. That’s another good shield; put in the earphones, even with no music piped in (save that battery life for when you need it), and you’re instantly less approachable. It’s a useful organ for regulating my moods, too. A few classical gems, lots of Goa Trance, a complete collection of Nightwish, assorted Iron Maiden and some crap Nu Metal for when I don’t want to think.
My parents don’t like it when I use it too much though. Think I should socialize more. They don’t get how draining it is, or my attempts to explain this to them.
That said, recently I’ve been feeling my lack of a girlfriend more keenly than in the past three years since I broke up with my first. I’m making an effort to pay attention to people around me, looking for someone who might like me. Wish me luck, eh?
In the right inside pocket I keep my Palm Pilot (a cheapie Zire 21, enough to run kMoria and/or Chess Tiger and/or Dokusha, my favorite <i>kanji</i> reader for handhelds).
I also stock that pocket with the pen I modified for spinning. Yep, I spin a modded Pentel RSVP like some bored asian highschooler. I also do footbag, juggling and Contact Juggling. I’m a nut for dexterity skills. Those are a buffer too. People sense that you’re taking up a little more space than usual if you’re freestyling, and they keep their distance. Downside is they stare.
I don’t take the pen out much anymore. I always end up threatening to stab DarkPower with it.
My hair could be said to be a defense mechanism too. I don’t, as a rule, get it cut, so I tend to save about $12-15 US per month doing so. Washing it regularly, I’m told, keeps it from growing too fast. At any rate, my bangs go down nigh to my chin nowadays. It’s like wearing blinkers. So long as I don’t get self-conscious about it, it keeps me from knowing if I’m being examined. I could also drag it down over my eyes to rib a particular spastic-emo friend when she comes around, which I plan to try next week.
On days when I come to school with the intent to hack (footbag, usually, but sometimes of the digital variety), I wear a hat to keep my hair out of my eyes. It’s a cap from the USS-Rentz, Fast Frigate 46. The legend on the coat-of-arms reads “DREAD NOUGHT.” I think that’s badass, especially for a class of ship that specializes in hunting unseen enemies. Their job is technical and intellectually challenging, which appeals to me.
I’m reluctant to say I have a rapier wit, but I make cutting statements all the time. I suppose it’s a measure of my insecurity, that I’m being defensive (funny how “being defensive” usually means going on the attack). It’s hardly a sword-and-buckler, more of a sword-and-dagger. Comes in handy around time of campus elections.
“Would you like to sign this petitition?”
“I’ll consult the Rotary Decision Maker. Call it, Matt.” flips coin
“And the RDM says…tails. Sorry, no signature for you.”
My final line of defense is my bedroom door. I keep it closed, but apparently some people don’t recognize it as the delineator of my personal space. I get in arguments with my father over this. He assumes that if I’m spending time in seclusion I must be doing something illicit, or I wouldn’t hide. He doesn’t say this about my hour long walks for each dog, but that’s a good thing.
When I’m at the park, with surreal strains of music massaging my temples, I can let my imaginatin play. Monsters cling to chain-link fences. Bats and Owls leave magnetic contrails from the night before. The trees tell me it’s too fucking hot out. I adjust my jacket and walk on.
My dogs are in great shape.
So, in order to avoid writing a conclusion to this little rant, and to make it something other than a generic LiveJournal post, I’m going to ask you to step back and take stock of yourself the same way. What do you use your personal effects for, in terms of your group of friends and the sector of society you find yourself in? Do you carry things for their funcional purpose, or do you, like me, carry a security blanket?
Sucks thumb and waits for a response