Here is a little short story representing my struggle with fitting in socially, a struggle that I hope I am well past, its a fictional short about a boy with a load of issues, written in first person and has a twist at the end.
Gaijin, is the Japanese word for “outside person”. The opinions vary on whether this word carries a negative tone or not, but for me, it always carries an air of exclusiveness. I can almost hear the searing negative connotations associated, no matter what some scholar says about it, Gaijin is, and always will be a derogatory word to me. And as my fate would have it, I’m always a Gaijin.
My father, you see, has one of those jobs. One where he has to travel all around, with almost no fixed duration of work at a single spot. As a direct result, I am always pushed into a situation where I have to stand in front of a room full of strangers and introduce myself anew. But they don’t really care about my name or my hobbies, for them I’m just a minor distraction in the middle of the semester. I never bother making friends, as I’m just waiting to be an outsider in some far off place again. Despite making my father run all around, his boss doesn’t pay my father as handsomely as one, working as hard, would normally be paid. What that means for me, is that we cannot always afford the best of schools; I’ve been sent to pretty rough places. At first I used to get kicked around, a lot. All I remember from that time is how hard it hurt. They tore my books, ransacked my bags, ridiculed my every behaviour. Eventually I learnt affecting a extremely repulsive persona. No one wants to mess with the foul-mouthed, perpetually enraged, loner. It keeps the bullies off my back, and it turns making friends into a near impossibility. I have grown accustomed to the trade off.
The teachers are another story, they all are extremely kind to me. As if they know my pain and are privy to some secret unlike me. On account of all this I’ve learnt to study on the go, and if I do say it myself I’m quite good at it. I usually ace the tests and then we celebrate, father cooks pasta for us. But all the celebration doesn’t change a simple fact, it’s just a matter of time before I am no more than a Gaijin again. As a result of my stressful life I am prone to scary dreams. It’s just the one really, a car crash, sounds like my subconscious knows something I don’t. Sometimes I end up too sick to attend school, at that time I am reminded of a simple fact. That my father is the greatest person I know, hats off to him. He takes every effort to ease my suffering. He takes painstaking efforts to ensure that all our lodgings look virtually the same. He also figures talking to a psychiatrist once in a while will help, I never understood why he thought this necessary, not until today. I eavesdropped my father, talking to one of the psychiatrists today. What is wrong with my son he asked her. The reply is something I could never fathom.
“Your son has suffered massive psychological trauma. As a result he has constructed an elaborate fantasy where you are changing cities for your job so he doesn’t have to fit in with anyone. His mind conveniently forgets the appearance of his classmates as a part of the same. He calls himself a Gaijin, and every three to four months starts feeling like one anew. I’m afraid that the bullying that he was subjected to was too much after suffering the loss of a parent. He may fully recover soon, with the right attention, but only time will tell.”