The Outcast

My name is Dino. I was born in Peru and I now live in the USA. I am also an outcast.


After finishing playing soccer this week, I went to the store to buy drinks and almonds. While I was there, the same guys I played soccer with were there. They were buying soda (ugh sodas are my mortal enemies). I said hi to them and we talked for a moment. I am not much to talk. I wasn't really interested in what they were saying but social convention dictates that if you ever see friends on the store, you must at least say hi. After talking to them for a bit and grabbing what I need, I went ahead to the register to pay for what I bought and then left. Before leaving, one of the guys in the group hollered at me. He made gestures. He asked me whether I could have one of my Gatorates. I try to be nice and kind. So, I walked back to the group and gave him one (I could have said no and walked away).


I remember once I read a story about how this old poor man walked into a street market. He saw a man selling caged birds. He bought one bird from the man. After he had paid, he open the caged and let the bird fly away. That character in that story became an instant hero of mine. I put it into my bucket list to do the same as the old poor man. I decided that at one point in my life, I would buy a caged bird and set it free.


The meaning that the story had upon me is hard to describe. A way to describe it, I suppose, is that money can be used for the good of others. There is something about helping others, there is something about showing kindness. I have always being attracted to such things. In fact, if I were to marry someone, it would be a kind woman.


So, when I thought of using my money to help others. I thought of soccer and how people are usually thirsty after it. And how they are so poor and how it might be nice someday to bring a cooler with cold drinks for everyone. But then I thought it should be an anonymous thing. I had it in the back of my mind. I have been trying to work the logistics of it. But then destiny gave me an opportunity to share drinks with a considerable amount of people. I wasn't going to waste such an opportunity.


That is why when my friend asked me for a bottle of Gatorade, not only did I gave him one, but offer one for each person in the group that was with him. They all took one. It was with much reluctance that I shared one with someone I specially didn't like. One person in the group asked me what I wanted in return for the drinks. I didn't really think of getting something in return. Neither did I want something in return. So, I said somewhat unexpectedly "sharing is what matters" and put up a tired smile. To that he responded by commenting to the guy beside him, "this guy is weird" somewhat jokingly. I swore under my breath and left. But while leaving the story, I was laughing to myself and had a big grin in my face. I have finally realized one of my fantasies. :)


But being called weird, creep and/or strange is not pleasant. In my life, too often I am labeled that way. Thinking back, I have always being different to most people.


Why am I weird? For one I wear glasses. This is the first thing in my life to which I was different to others. No one in my family needed to wear them. I hated wearing glasses as a kid. They always felt so uncomfortable. Glasses were broken or lost by me too often. At some point, my parents got me a thread that kept my glasses attach to my head. The other kids found it funny and pulled at it until the glasses would fall and ultimately break.


The most important reason why I got used to glasses was because my mom made the comment that people with glasses are smart. I couldn't argue against that. I mean I wore glasses and I was smart. I mean there was this actor in the Jurassic park movies that wore glasses and he was smart (and socially awkward). And yeah, the first movie I ever remember watching was Jurassic park.


My whole family went to see the movie. It was definitely a happy day for the family though I don't remember much about it I remember the feelings. Everyone was excited and happy. For reason, that makes me sleepy. I slept for many parts in the movie. At some point I was awaken by my dad so I wouldn't miss the scene where the protagonists ran around with the dinosaurs. I watched enough of the movie to also suspect that people that wore glasses were smart.


I wonder if there are scientific studies on how wearing glasses can affect your psychic. I wouldn't ever call myself a nerd. But since so many people who wear glasses are considered nerds. Every year, I felt like I lost some of my cool and become a bit more of a nerd. Also, I think people are biased towards guys who wear glasses and sports. People think guys who wear glasses are not good at sports. This becomes sort of a group self-fulfilling prophecy. They don't pass the ball at me and always think I can't take the ball from them (which I do).


Another of eccentricities is that I was raised a Mormon. Now, if you were never raised a mormon... you can shut up with your lame mormon jokes. For example, after reveleaing my religion, my school counselor said, "oh you are a mormon, well are you planning on having two wives?" I didn't think it was funny. 


My mother and father met at church. The Mormon Church. I went to church for the next 18 years. After that amount of years, I had enough of it. I don't like repetition that much.


When I was a 12 year old kid, however, I was offered by one of the cool kids a cigarette. I said no because the church said to not drink beer or smoke. And I was an outcast from the cool kids band. So, I became the focus of their teasing. To this day I haven't tried alcohol or cigarettes and still makes me an outcast for some of the population. Well, playing videogames can be like drinking beer.


I was bullied in middle school. I received death threats from this crazy guy. If bullies are normal, then I guess bullied people are normal as well. In that aspect, I was normal. I hated the bullying. I didn't want to take such bullcrap so when my dad asked me whether I wanted to come to the USA to live with him I said "hell yes" (not really but yes). And so, America that land of freedom, where kids can find safe passage from their bullies. Yeah, right...


I was 13 when I came to the USA. I didn't really think much of anything. I actually was amazed at how clean the streets were. And how everything smell differently. But I could have been in France and I wouldn't have cared less as long as I was in a school with them mean kids. I decided that I wasn't going to let a kid tease me again. So I develop this bad boy attitude and will give dirty to looks to first insinuation of mockery. This worked and girls seemed to like it... too bad I didn't speak any English.


I was Peruvian. I was brown. I could barely speak any English. And I liked math. I felt very different from my peers in calculus class. Most of them were two years older than me. But somehow, not being able to speak the language when I first came was the very fun. I always loved learning. Constantly learning a language... it was pretty fun.


I fell in love with a Mormon girl. When I was 14 but I suppose this is normal. I thought she was pretty cool and that deep down she was kind of like me. For 7 years after that, I would obsess on and off after her. 7 years that's unusual. I was an outcast from her heart.


Another thing that made me different from other people is the fact I was a very philosophical kid. One of my heroes was Socrates and I questioned everything. That is why I left the Mormon Church after some time. Because their answers were unsatisfactory. I prefer scientific answers.


I went on to study physics on a university. I got in when I was 16. I went to a mostly white university. I was never conscious of my race until I met a kid from Mexico in the physics department. He was brown and I thought he was rather unusual. I was like oh man, he is very different. Then I looked at myself in the mirror and I actually realized I was different as well. Do people see me like I see the kid from Mexico? This bothered me in an unconsciously way.


I couldn't work because I wasn't allowed to by the law. Because the law can suck and be unfair. This is also what makes me unusual. I was an undocumented immigrant. Not being able to work, to be part of projects in school. Well, it had an effect on my academic career. This and the shitty food that I made for myself everyday. And the fact that I didn't have a girlfriend. Everybody was older than me and girls liking older guys didn't help. Why not date a freshman? I kind of did. Kind of.


I left Peru because I was being bullied but because of my legal status I received more bullying. All these politicians always talked about how they wanted me out of the country. They made me feel like an outcast. I didn't do shit other than to move to another country and because of this I was destined to be bullied by people who didn't even know me. People whom I didn't have contact with. But life is more than politicians. And so, I moved on.


Normal people are supposed to be okay at relationship but as an outcast, I was below averaged. Perhaps this is the last part of my life that is quite different from other people. I am a nerd, a jerk, a genius, a dancer, a kindred spirit, a philosopher, a musician, a foreigner but these combination of traits didn't seem to attract the people I was attracted to.  So, my love life can be described as a few crushes and a webcam love affair.


And so, I am, uh, different but do not feel sad. Life is interesting. My life is. I feel passionate about life. I want to better myself. I want to be different but in a good way. I want to be kind and I want to help others. I want to be happier as time goes on.


I am not a kid anymore. I am a man. And a man must work hard, really, really hard. And get up every time he is pushed down, stronger than ever.


Sometimes I feel like I can see the future. And I think my biggest contribution in life would be being a cool grandpa. And though life right now is a little lonely because I am not in a relationship with a girl like any normal 25 year old should, I am really looking forward to the future.


An so the outcast dreams to be physically and emotionally strong, he dreams of a better future and for the ability to help others. The outcast dreams of becoming an idol and of unending love. And above all the outcast dreams to leave the world a bit better than he found it.



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