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"I'm the same kid walking through bigger halls trying to be noticed by doing his best to not get noticed."

by Jim Martin


Glamourless Man hunches over keyboard, sending nightmares to his chiropractor. That's me.

Everything I do is intended to keep people away. I shave my head, get tattooed, get pierced, wear dark clothes, lift weights. I don't want you to want to sit next to me on the bus. I like to hate feeling disconnected from the rest of the world. That doesn't make sense, but think about it like it's another form of masochism or something. Someone out there likes having his balls punched. Me, I like the look on your face when you would rather stand on the bus than sit next to me.

I work all day at my little job. It's a good enough job, just not what I want out of the world. I want to be famous, divine, noticed and not rebuked. I want people to see all the strange things in me, all the fear and all the sensibility, and love me for it. That doesn't happen at the ole 9 to 5. There, your only value is the pennies you can shave off the bottom line. It's soulless, not the right environment for a writer, or a human for that matter.

I work all weekend teaching people how to program computers. It's a good enough job, but it wears on me sometimes. I get a real kick out of helping people to figure these things out, but I get tired of hearing the same old things over and over again. After a while even the most legitimate complaint becomes common and boring.

I'm just another anonymous nerd, deep down. I might not look like I used to, but the people who know me know me and disregard as necessary. I'm the same kid walking through bigger halls trying to be noticed by doing his best to not get noticed. Doesn't that make any sense? Well, it doesn't to me either, so we're even.

It's a new world order, sweet mother, and I am the testimonial you've been waiting for. The Industrial Revolution took us off of our farms and into the cities. This new digital revolution crap is moving us away, drawing us out of our cities and further into ourselves. I could work for months without seeing another person. I could sit here and plug away at my world and never go for a coffee break with a friend, or grab a beer. It's digital detachment, a refined form of isolationism. I can be totally in touch with everything and totally isolated.

I sit here alone at night while my wife and kids dream about things I have forgotten, and I knuckle on. Tonight's a good example. I worked my eight today, then went to the school and taught for four more. I'm home half an hour, and I'm on the computer plugging away. What's nice about it is the silence of the house and the sneaky noise seeping out of my speakers. It's quiet enough to allow me to hear anything untoward, but loud enough that they come to me and shake away the feeling of distance.

Nick Cave tells me the story of a nag named Sorrow.

Jello Biafra knocks me about the head with thoughts I haven't dreamed of yet.

The former Shannon Hoon drags the smile out of me no matter how hard I fight.

These are the voices I hear, the things that connect me to the outside world. These are the things that make me feel like there's a world I might some day see. These are the people I allow in, their music speaking to me of better ways or things unseen. There isn't acceptance in our conversations, but there doesn't have to be. They don't need to judge me because it's just music.

It's dark out tonight, beautiful and still. I have a treetop view of the city from the window to my left, and I can see for miles. Downtown glows gently like a boil on a clean face. Somebody squeeze that. I just sit here typing and letting Our Lady Peace coax the thoughts from my head.

It's too bad they don't know about this time, but I bet they wouldn't get it. Superheroes don't feel the disconnect I think.


Jim Martin is a is a writer, punk rocker, computer programmer, teacher, father, fool, husband, poet, and sideshow freak. His fiction has appeared here at 3am, as well as in Mob Hit Productions, Images Inscript, House of Pain, and Scapegrace Magazine. His regular columns Toxic Thought Syndrome for 3am and Mr. Lousy Advice Guy for SinglesFAQ Magazine appear on a (usually) weekly basis. You can also find out about the man behind the legend by visiting his web site.

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