"Once upon a time there was a crooked tree and a straight tree. And they grew next to each other. And every day the straight tree would look at the crooked tree and he would say, "You're crooked. You've always been crooked and you'll continue to be crooked. But look at me! Look at me!" said the straight tree. He said, "I'm tall and I'm straight." And then one day the lumberjacks came into the forest and looked around, and the manager in charge said, "Cut all the straight trees." And that crooked tree is still there to this day, growing strong and growing strange."
-Tom Waits in "Wristcutters: A Love Story"
I can't think of a more perfect quote for how I felt yesterday. Walking out of my apartment was almost like walking into a "house of mirrors". I couldn't figure out what was me and what was simply a crooked mirror. Maybe I just forgot to change out of a "Huh?" expression; or perhaps I was getting ready to say "good morning" to somebody, requiring a similar tilt of the head.
I tried to lock eyes with people as we passed, but they seemed to be in their own mirror houses, and I just continued on, viewing life at a slant.
My perplexity quickly spawned perturbment and I began to wonder if maybe I was about to spiral out of control, and this minimal degree turn was a warning--or possibly a foreshadow--to what was to come.
I considered the idea that others might be walking crooked too, but looking out onto the sea of suits and stilettos only reassured in me the constant constraint of conformity lurking around crooked corners.
So I decided to embrace my strange slant. If everyone else just saw eye to eye, nobody would have the same angle as I. I was different, and by Jove, I was going to celebrate it!
And it wasn't until I kicked up my heels...
...that I realized I was missing one.