For the past several years I have had this overwhelming desire to take up an alter ego that gives me the opportunity to combine all of the things that I want to be. We all have to dream every so often about living a life free of societal pressures – silly considerations like the judgment of your family or utterly freaking out your best friends or your fiancé suddenly calling off your wedding. Little things like that.
Our fantasy personalities might include things like never changing your socks because that’s your favorite pair and your other ones suck. Or maybe your ideal world allows you to chase small animals around your neighbor’s yard. Or maybe it gives you the opportunity to eat cereal for every meal. Or maybe you like staring at strangers’ hands – stare away in this beautifully simple fantasy existence.
Think about yours for a minute. Maybe your weirdo personality alter ego fantasy person and mine can get together over a bowl of chicken chunks that we picked out of a Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup can and talk about women’s beards and men’s menstruation problems. Who knows?
Let me fill you in on my desired qualities that society and culture and human decency tell me I shouldn’t act out. Well, at least if I want to continue operating in normal society (i.e. having friends, keeping a job, going grocery shopping, pooping in real toilets, etc.):
– My desire to not be bothered
– Making endless jokes where I intentionally mishear words
– Singing songs that I make up on the spot about mundane occurences
– Believing that everyone intends possibly offensive-sounding things to be 100 percent offensive
These qualities all come together in my ideal alter ego of a gay hobo. The majesty of being able to operate in the world and no one really expects anything from me. I mean, I’m just some old bum out on the street ready to pick up discarded lotto tickets thinking that maybe someone threw it out before the numbers were picked. No one would care if I sing songs about people standing at the bus stop. I’m just some crazy, smelly bum.
People would say, “Hey, hobo, stop peeing on my car.” And I’d say, “Excuse me. I prefer the term ‘gay,’ thank you very much!”
That self-assured young hot-shot with the pretty car would probably continue being pissed off about the whole pee thing, but eventually, later that night, he’d think harder about what I said to him. “Why did that crazy hobo say he preferred the term ‘gay?’ Did he think I called him a homo? I would never do that – I have tons of gay friends.”
All the while I’d be smiling myself to sleep on my cardboard bed, reveling in his confusion. Yes, I may be an old hobo, but at least I have the dignity to treat people with respect.