Itís currently 11:20 at night and I am exhausted. To me, this is completely random and nearly inconceivable (I just suddenly decided I like that word), because I almost never go to bed unless itís a really obscene hour in the middle of the night. Or in the middle of the morning, which is a much more accurate description. I do have a reason for this, one which is blatantly obvious to me, but which some people just donít get.


I am a freak.


My roommates yell at me when I say that. If I had a beer for every time Randi said, ďNo, youíre not,Ē or Jenn(ifer, for Seanís sake) said, ďOh, Becka,Ē Iíd be drunk for weeks. They spend a rather large amount of time trying to convince me that Iím not crazy or silly or... well, I was going to say, ďrandom,Ē but that is one of the few adjectives we agree on. I think our agreement might be based on the fact that I have the mental stability of a monkey on crack and thought processes similar to those of a gnat on speed. I realize that Iím not giving you much substantial evidence to support my claims, but bear with me; Iím getting there. However, besides being random, I have the most disturbing tendency to ramble, as you would know if Iíve ever left you a message on your answering machine. Following a single train of thought is not my strong point.


If you know me at all, you already knew that, so Iím not even going to claim thatís part of the argument. Letís move on. Iím aware that everyone has faults and that everyone does stupid things and blah, blah, blah... Based on probably incoherent, subjective reasoning, Iíve been led to this conclusion, and not even being locked in an isolation room with only Britney Spearsí music to keep me company would change my mind. Actually, that might do it, but for now, weíre playing pretend.


Oh, which brings me to my first point....


Reason I Am a Freak #1:I Like to Play Pretend


Yeah, I know this doesnít mean much unless you live with me or have pretty constant contact with me. The problem that arises from playing pretend is that I do it all the time, about all kinds of things. I know itís gotten bad mainly because if Iím wandering around the apartment and I say, ďLetís play a game,Ē my roommates automatically respond with, ďWhat are you and where are you hiding?Ē In the past hour, Iíve alternately been a notebook, my keys, ginger, a street sign, and soda. However, I would like to point out that I only found the ginger and the street sign. I apparently wasnít bonding with the rest of the articles on the list.


Ignoring the part where playing pretend is the only way I ever find anything, itís really a bad game. Some things should be avoided while playing, most of which Iím not going to get into because it involves names, places, and occasionally, misdemeanors. None of these are horribly relevant to the topic, nor are they extraordinarily productive for me to think about, so Iím going to pretend like they donít exist. And, considering that this whole paragraph is about playing pretend and that I didnít intentionally type that -- though I realized directly after I did -- I should probably take that sentence out. If it didnít highlight my point nicely, I might.


Unfortunately, one of my favorite uses of the game is pretending like things donít exist. This can range from debtors and work to stupid boys and phones. When approached by random guys on the street and asked for my number, I like to tell them I donít have a phone. Sometimes this stops them; sometimes it does not. One guy had the nerve to ask me if he could stop by (after he followed me from the stoplight into the parking lot when he wasnít even going to the mall). I proceeded to tell him I didnít have a home. He did not get that I was blowing him off and offered to drive me somewhere warm. While I am a bitch, I was still too nice to laugh in his face, so I took that as my cue to walk away. Though, in retrospect, perhaps pretending worked well in that case.


Letís try this again. My roommate likes to pretend the Vicks Corporation is not raping her for money, because the amount of medicine you get versus the prescribed dosage does not compute. Times like that are probably when you should find a better solution, like not being sick. Or at least pretend youíre not. My friend Mi likes to pretend sheís found her brain, because she claims she lost it somewhere a few years ago. Iím not inclined to disagree with her, though our opinions might differ on whether thatís a bad thing. I personally like to pretend I donít care about things when I really do. I donít recommend this, because it resolves absolutely nothing and actually only perpetuates problems. Odd how that doesnít stop me from doing it.


And on that note, Iím going to move onto a different reason, because I completely lost any point I might have had about my game.


Reason I Am a Freak #2:I Failed the Nonverbal Sensitivity Scale


So you canít really fail it. Failing involves trying and attempts, and I really donít like effort of that kind. Plus, itís not a test, itís a scale, which kind of precludes failing. The point is, I suck at reading people, not because I canít do it, but because I doubt myself far too much. When I think Iím getting mixed or random signals (i.e. am confused), I donít know what to do, especially if the behavior isnít what I am used to. I have the feeling Iím going to say things Iíd really rather not admit in a very short amount of time, but what the hell? Itís not like I have to worry about offending anyone, because most of them wonít realize Iím talking about them anyway. Iíll tell you right now that Iím going to give incorrect names and vaguely falsify data in order to make sure of that. Of course, now that Iíve said that, I realize they might be able to pick out situational clues and that I should have kept my damned mouth shut.


Oh, well.


Just for clarityís sake, Iím first going to point out that I sometimes have the self-confidence of a neurotic rabbit examining poisoned carrots. Not about everything, of course, but when it comes to certain things (guys I like, for example, though many people feel this way), I might as well wear a sign saying I am completely clueless. Either one of two things happens with members of the opposite sex: I am completely oblivious or I read far too much into it. Being oblivious is something I excel at; the latter even more so. And even worse is when the signs are slapping me in the face harder than the door I walked into three minutes ago, but I still canít let myself accept them, because I have too much self-doubt.


I recently (as in less than three hours ago) went to EíníP with one of my friends, where I again managed to vent all the issues Iíve been venting to anyone who would listen for the last three days, or however many days ago Thursday was. As Iím not really sure what today is, I donít feel Iím qualified to do that math. First, I expressed my desire to join a convent, then my desire to live in a box in England, and finally, my desire to drop out of school and become a grapefruit. Whatever works, right? Of course, we also got into more specifics than youíre going to get here, mostly because I was extremely honest and very detailed in my venting. Plus, he apparently knew who I was talking about, despite the fact that I tried to deny it profusely.


On the other hand, I didnít exactly try to be circumspect about which identifying characteristics I busted out. I was hoping he wouldnít pay enough attention to pinpoint an actual person, but whatever. It doesnít matter anyway, because Iíve threatened him with dire retribution if he tells, plus I have blackmail. Not that I would use it, but it still gives me leverage.


Anyway, during the conversation, the topic turned to my best friend from high school. Or rather, my best guy friend. Sometime between the end of our last ďfreeĒ summer and Thanksgiving break of our freshman year... Wait, thatís not right. Letís back up. Sometime between December of my Senior year and November of my Frosh year, things got really, really sketchy, at least from my perspective. The touchiness, the immediacy... whatever. Iím too lazy and unfocused to break out the Comm. technical terms. At this point, Iíd known him and weíd been close for about four years, give or take a few months. Heíd dated my other best friend (who I am happy to say is female). Theyíd both nursed me through my lapdog crisis and my upper lip obsession. When our relationship suddenly changed, I completely freaked. This reaction peaked during a moment of truth over Thanksgiving break. So, me being me, and also due to expectancy violations, any contact died a rapid and lamented death.


Which brings me to my next point...


Reason I Am a Freak #3:My Downshifting Sucks


If youíve ever seen The Cutting Edge, you might remember the scene where Doug, one of the main characters, yells, ďIím sorry, I donít downshift that fast!Ē to his partner as she exits the elevator in the middle of a crowded lobby. I donít feel like getting into the entire storyline, but this occurs the morning after she throws herself at him, drunk, and he refuses to take advantage of her. Anyway, right after she kicked him out for not taking advantage of her, he slept with some other random chick, which his partner found out. Thatís probably confusing, but I donít really care. At any rate, heís talking about not being able to adjust to the change in their relationship.


Yeah, well, heís not the only one.


I have major issues getting past any history I might have with a person. With my best friend, for example, I could most often be heard saying, ďYeah, but itís Matt.Ē For the purpose of this rant, Iím just going to refer to every male as ďMatt,Ē regardless of why Iím referring to him, though Iíve not exactly been subtle so far. Anyway, I did the same thing at EíníP tonight, but these are two highly different scenarios. High-school Matt and I spent massive amounts of time together and he knew all -- er, most -- of my deepest, darkest secrets. Not that I had many, pure little Catholic school girl that I was. College Matt (for lack of a better qualifier), on the other hand, is... well, heís not high-school Matt. We donít spend as much time together, etc., etc. When we do spend time together, though, I have problems getting past a) any past occurrences (of whatever sort) and b) wanting him.


I was told the other night that I am a smart ass. I think this might be the biggest understatement Iíve heard all year. And let me just tell you, the more uncertain I am about something, the more of a smart ass I become. If you recall from earlier in the rant, one of my points was that I canít read people. This is partially because I like clearly defined lines. Straight ones are also a plus, but not a necessity. When someone Iíve been friends with suddenly becomes more physical or more personal than they have been, my brain skips right past the ďWhat the hell is this?Ē question straight to shutting down (i.e. I donít know what to do, so I donít do anything). Especially if Iíve known that person for three years and been attracted to them for the entire duration of our friendship. I could qualify that a bit more, but if I wanted it to be that obvious, Iíd just rent a billboard.


That being the case, letís pretend being a smart ass is a protection. Or I could just admit it, which is probably a better idea. When my clearly defined lines start blurring into tie-dyed spots in front of my face, distance becomes the first thing on my mind. In fact, I rather like to put about a thousand miles and maybe a few moats between the other person and me. Iíd like to briefly point out this is not because I donít want anything to do with the situation or because I donít like that person. Itís got a lot more to do with the fear that Iím reading too much into whatís going on and with the fact that Iím so stunned I donít know what else to do. Based on past history, except for those people I was completely oblivious to, Iíve come to the conclusion that people do not want to date me, though I seem to be okay for a random lay.


I am not all about casual sex. I have too many issues. Just to recap, let me point out two Iíve already mentioned: clearly defined lines and past history. Now, Iím not saying past history gets in the way. In most cases, itís a good thing. Most. And Iím not saying the clearly defined lines are written in indelible marker. But really, some warning is nice. Point A is usually connected to Point B in easy-to-follow lines (though not necessarily clearly defined ones), unless Point A and Point B involve my thought processes. If the latter is the case, youíre lucky if you can even find Point A and Point B in the deluge. Still, development is supposed to occur.


Hence the reason I shut down. Itís really less hazardous to my health than trying to think, or than drawing my own conclusions, especially since my conclusions rarely blend with reality. As much as I would like to interpret things in my favor, I hesitate to do so.


And perhaps an explanation of that...


Reason I Am Freak #4:Some People Avoid Complications; I Create Them


Yay, me. I finally figured out what my greatest talent is. I suppose I should feel special, but considering the subject matter, Iím going to pass. Ignoring that brief and unfulfilling moment of excitement, letís pretend I played interpreter. And failed utterly, which should come as no surprise. Seriously, I have the attention span of a two-year-old with ADD, and when I say ďoblivious,Ē I mean it. The fact that I could walk into a brick wall and be astonished itís there is nothing new or unusual.And then we have the other extreme, which I abuse equally. Both lead to complications. If I were feeling less lazy, I would look up and define the word as given by the dictionary.


We all know thatís not going to happen.


So instead, letís focus on something Iíve been mentioning all night: reading too much into the situation. I am not a straightforward person unless something means very little to me, or I figure itís not going to happen anyway. Iím afraid of getting hurt, so I become random enough that Iím more confusing than usual. Since I like to cling to my hopes occasionally, I also tend to talk and think in circles no one else seems to be able to follow (which simply goes along with being a smart ass). Now, I donít know if this behavior is a bad thing. Probably, but because Iím not going to dwell on it anyway, itís hardly relevant.


What I do want to point out is that I can no longer tell what the hell Iím thinking or doing half the time when confronted with a situation, so I just donít. Iím trying to think of an example involving a person no one will recognize, but I am failing miserably. Oh, hell. Letís just go back to high-school Matt. Heís been popular over the last five pages.


Or maybe we wonít use an example, because Iíve just realized thatís more personal than Iím willing to get when Iím planning to stick this up on my web page and my user info. Moving right along... I donít handle intimacy well, at least when itís coming from someone I really donít expect. The earlier point about casual sex was given because Iím twice as likely to assume thatís not what it is than the other way around. Well, except with college Matt. Having already gotten my hopes up once -- whether he knows that or not -- I opted to assume he just wanted laid. That being said, I would also like to mention that I am utterly confused as to that whole situation and donít want to talk about it in any greater detail, because I think it would be bad. Weíre back to that billboard thing.


And since this is getting far too long, letís jump ahead.


Reason I Am a Freak #5: I Listen to People (and Other Miscellaneous Issues)


Yet I do not listen to myself.Funny how it works like that, isnít it?Some of you might have read the ďBoag, Iíve really got to bust it outĒ essay from this summer. In that, I listed reasons why ďbusting it outĒ is a good thing. If I were braver and doubted myself less, I would call up college Matt and do so. Unfortunately, I see two problems with this. The first is that I donít have his newest number, and his cell phone number (if Iíve even got that right) is programmed into my cell phone, which has been sent off to China to get fixed. Or at least thatís why Iím assuming itís taken so long. Second, I have no idea what to think about the situation (refer to Reason #4 and my confusion).


Everyone keeps telling me just to do this or to do that and blah, blah, blah... And, yes, I know itís not supposed to be easy. Or something like that. But this time, I really canít. Well, I mean, Iím sure itís possible, but from my perspective, itís not really something I want to do. Iíve had so many experiences where things just didnít work out that Iím leery of anything and everything. And based on those mixed signals, Iím even more uncertain.


Since this is so long, I am going to pretty much just shut up now. If youíve made it this far, you deserve a cookie or something even more exciting than that. Since I am craving chocolate chip cookies right now, thatís all that sprang to mind.


I realize, of course, that none of these five things really makes me a freak, and especially not when taken separately. Combined, it may be a different story. I know I missed all sorts of things in this rant, but due to the length, I simply omitted them. If I hadnít been so fixated on one particular topic, the rant might have been different.


I just needed to vent.


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