The online dictionary defines anachronism as a chronological misplacing of persons, events, objects or customs in regard to each other; a person or a thing that is chronologically out of place especially one from a former age that is incongruous in the present, the state of condition of being chronologically out of place.
I, like Lovecraft, am an anachronism.
I don’t know many others my age that are similar to me. I know that sounds arrogant, but it’s not conceit. It is a truth. I am not interested in the newest iPad or iPhone. I like to read physical books. I enjoy the book experience: the smell of the book, the texture of the cover and the pages. An iPad or Tablet cannot provide that type of experience. I’m happy with my Pantech Impact cell phone and my Dell PC works fine. I don’t feel the need to upgrade either. I am not an electronic whore like the majority of my peers. I don’t enjoy today’s popular culture. The movies, music and novels of yesterday are much more interesting to me. Today’s scripts, songs, and stories are rehashes of the past so I see no use in buying the “new improved” when the original has always been “the best”.
My being an anachronism is one of the reasons why my parents pulled me out of school. While it is a fact that I appear physically as a fifteen-year-old girl, honestly I am much older than fifteen. I am gifted. Intellectually and emotionally I am older than many if not all of my peers. I am familiar with ideas, concepts, and theories that people I am surrounded by don’t care about or even realize exist. Frankly, there are even moments when I am obviously wiser than my parents. I am keenly aware that I am chronologically out of place even if those around me are not and this understanding leads to recurrent disappointment.
The one thing constant in my life, the one thing that never disappoints me isn’t what you might think. No, it isn’t my parents. They constantly fall short of my expectations and I am told I theirs. It isn’t my brother. I’m sure you are well aware of the current state of our relationship seeing as it seems it is easily influenced by outside sources. It isn’t my “friends”. I only have two people currently in my life that I believe remotely know enough about me that I would consider as “friends”.
The first person is Brittany Finch. Brittany and I met our last year of middle school. Over the summer her family moved here from Rhode Island so she didn’t know anyone and by that September there were at least a dozen rumors circulating throughout the school district about me. No one wanted to be associated with me. I was abnormal. Whacked. “Off”. And it wasn’t a popular thing to be. The guidance counselors, teachers, and principals labeled me as “antisocial”, and my peers liked the label “psycho”. But Brittany, she was different. She hadn’t heard the rumors and so had no preconceived idea of who or what I was or was supposed to be. She was looking for an ally. I became her ally. And she, she became the closest thing to a friend that I could have hoped for that year.
The second person is Chloe Putnam. I met Chloe shortly after Dan was sent off to school. I remember because the night my parents and Dan left for the airport, leaving me with my Aunt Rachel, my Dad’s younger sister, I snuck out of the house and wondered off to the park. It was late and cold but I didn’t care. I was upset and confused and wanted to just run away. Chloe was sitting on a swing smoking a cigarette. She looked up at me as I approached her. I was curious. She had multiple piercings on her face and short hair dyed electric blue. She didn’t say a word but held out her pack of Benson and Hedges. I took one. She lit it for me from her own cigarette. And the rest is, as they say, history.
But even though I label these peers as “friends” I don’t expect anything from them. How can I when I am clearly different than they are. I, unlike them, am an anachronism. I am so different that they wouldn’t understand me if they knew me as intimately as I believe a friend should.
The one constant in my life isn’t my boyfriend. I don’t have one. The closest thing I ever had to a boyfriend was my first crush, Josh Keyes. Josh and I attended the same elementary school. He was the first boy I held hands with and the first one that I kissed, even if it was the innocent lips closed on the playground variety. He was my one and only Valentine in the fourth grade, but transformed into my biggest tormentor by the seventh grade. I have no solid evidence but I am certain he is the originator of many, if not all, of the rumors and stories that circulated around the school about me. And it isn’t my girlfriend; as much as I care about Brittany and Chloe neither of them are my girlfriend. It isn’t that I would balk at the idea of having a girlfriend or a boyfriend; it all boils down to the same reason that I don’t really have “friends”. Anachronism.
So, what is it that is the one constant in my life, the one thing that never disappoints me? The one thing that transcends the concept of chronological time?
I’ve always enjoyed the experiences that music provides me. I can easily recall visiting Carolyn, a longtime friend of my Mother’s and listening to the sound of the violin. Unlike my Mother, Carolyn was tentative, quiet, yielding and soft. She was a member of the local symphony orchestra and offered private violin lessons. During our visits to her home, Mother and I would sit and listen to her play, her bow slid easily over the strings filling me with their melody and a feeling of powerful tranquility that I never was able to recapture on any instrument myself though I frequently appreciate it from others.
Music is the perfect combination of sound and silence. It’s the voice that speaks to me and moves me to the rhythm of the Universe. Music can be as sweet and smooth as caramel or as sour as a lemon. It can be feminine and masculine, delicate and robust, joyful and unpleasant. Music is everything and absolutely nothing. Music is power; a power that has the ability to create and destroy. A power that I hold within me. A power that I use to manipulate without others ever truly understanding what exactly I have accomplished.
People frequently disappoint. Music never does.