Being the Freaky Kid on the block.

Freaky Kid: (noun) A child aged sixteen or younger prone to ‘strange’ tastes in music, reading, writing, or art. Often uses sarcasm as a means towards a black humor end. Dresses in dark colors. Not to be confused with ‘goth’ or ’emo’, but still thought to be ‘dark’. Considered to be just as evil and to be avoided as their gothic counterparts. Parents of Normal Children, beware.

I think all it takes is one thing. The problem is, I couldn’t tell you what that thing is. But I’m still of the mind that this singular event sets off an internal chain reaction that creates the Freaky Kid. Part of it’s genetics (I come from strange stock indeed, so I can attest to this), and part of it’s influence. But all that sets the stage. There has to be some force, whether it manifests itself as an item (book/movie/music/etc), or an event, that sparks something within and makes the Potential Freaky Kid join the flock.

The chain reaction kicks off like brush fire across the kid’s skull, melting down all ‘normal’ wiring and replacing it with something new. Usually in shades of black or dark blue depending, though some subspecies choose all colors, or only certain colors. Or only certain clothes.

After that, how breezy life is depends squarely on how the Freaky Kid chooses to handle it. If they’re faced with being socially ostracized, they might tell the world to go to hell and hole up inside their room permanently. Or they’ll tell the world to go to hell and face them head on. If accepted, who knows what the kid could accomplish. Or they’ll rise high and fall flat on their face. Or nothing’ll happen. Like all kids the Freaky Kid’s potential, as far as I can tell, measures out about like this: fifty percent dumb luck, twenty percent life experience, ten percent good parenting, ten percent parental foul ups, and ten percent pure unmitigated chance.

But I can say that from what I’ve seen, there’s usually a lot of that ostracized stuff going around. The kids that fall in that area are the Ally Sheedys (circa The Breakfast Club) of every school, not one kid, but a whole group. They’re usually off to the side in the playground or the lunchroom, keeping each other amused and sniping at all the popular types. I know this because I lived and breathed that group (whenever I was actually in school, not at home sick) all through school, and though most of us have grown apart, some of us outcasts are still good friends to this day.

Before that we were regarded with narrowed eyed stares and behind the hand whispers, face to face challenges from high horse wenches, and all sorts of crap. Sometimes I couldn’t help remarking on the cliche of it all. This often earned me even more crap. But I was a young writer with a sarcastic sense of humor, eternally in a sweatshirt that I’d wear until it fell apart (a habit I still have, but I’m trying to get out of), with eccentric sensibilities.

I could never figure out what the big deal was about all that, and that’s still true to this day. During the last years of my Freaky Kid stage, I heard neighborhood kids told stories about me. They thought I was a frequent cutter who listened to metal music all day. Years later still, I heard that my mother’d asked a writer friend of mine, as well as my Girl Scout leader of the time (Mom 3.0 now), if she needed to worry about me being a potential psychopath because of the scary stories I was writing at the time.

Not that I ever had thoughts of making this blood and gore a reality, and if someone’d asked me, I would’ve told them so. But thankfully the two asked told her that there was nothing to worry about. Better for me to get it out than to let it fester. Not that there was anything festering on that level to begin with. I was depressed, but I wasn’t homicidal.

Now, as I’ve said, I’m no longer that kid. But I could still easily check myself under the ‘Freaky Adult’ category. Freakyness, as you yourself might know, is a wide ranging label that many can put themselves under. I would hope it’d be for positive reasons, because us freaky types are more useful when we’re happy to be as we are.

Luckily I’ve never been a Damien Echolls, although from what I’ve seen back then he was more aggressively goth than just plain freaky. But I’ve seen and been though enough crap to know that being the Freaky Kid is not for the weak of heart. Once that little thing sparks a piece of your DNA and that brush fire begins, you’re freaky for life. Trying to pretend otherwise, locking up that part of yourself, leaves a lot missing. So if you want that full, rich life they keep talking about in all those self help books, you’re going to have to embrace it. While you’re at it, help those Freaky Kids embrace it too. They need it.

And, of course, look for new ways to be freaky for the rest of your days. You wouldn’t want it to wither and die, would you?

I thought so.


~ by Sara on December 28, 2011.

2 Responses to “Being the Freaky Kid on the block.”

  1. I was that kid and although I’m no longer thought of as freaky, I’m still seen as strange; freaky’s educated cousin.

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