I think I was about fourteen when I realised that my friends didn't think the way that I did.
It probably happened when a group of friends were gushing about their latest band crushes, and I just sat there, listening, and thinking "How absolutely inane, I really don't care who's the cutest boy in the Bay City Rollers. I'd rather be in the library with a good book".
I also knew then, with absolute clarity, that if I actually said what I was thinking, I'd be friendless during the lunch hours for the rest of my school days. At the time, that was a big thing. I did not want to be friendless in high school.
And so I discovered observation and acting.
Oh, I gushed, and bought Sherbet records, and fan magazines, and had long conversations over vegemite sandwiches about what I'd say when I met the popstar of my dreams!
"Oh Eric, he's so cute!"
"Shut up, Eric's mine"
"Oh sorry, I forgot. Umm, Who do I get then?"
Then I had to go home afterwards and have a good lie down, listen to some Doobie Brothers, do maths homework, and read Lord of the Rings.
It was hard work, having school friends.
I watched the ABC Doco on Compass from last night, and it was Akash (the musical one) that reminded me of all this.
Lately, I've been aware that gradually, imperceptibly, over many years, I've been using the public faces less and less. I just don't want to any more. I still have to keep it up at work, of course, but I forgo the gossip and water-cooler talk.
I don't want to go to parties, or social events, or even for coffee, unless I can wear my private face. It's too much like hard work.
Hey, am I turning into a grumpy old woman? or releasing my inner Aspie?