Ponderings of a Pariah
And of passive-aggressive pleasantry.
The first time someone called me “a pariah,” I had to look it up. I was caught off-guard by the comment made nearly ten years ago now, and have been haunted by it since. A pariah is a person who is avoided or not accepted by a social group, esp. because he or she is not liked, respected, or trusted; an outcast.
As a non-native in central West Virginia, I have always known that as someone “not from here,” I would and could never become a true local. No one here knows my family, my roots, where I came from, or who my people are. There are no clans here with the surname McDermott, Merrill, McCoy, Wheeler, or Hayes with an e.
My inability to remember who is related to who is alone enough to handicap me. Never in my life have I been part of the “in” group, but I did have the impression that most people who encounter me at least carry basic respect for me as a human being, and that a majority of folks don’t think about me at all.