The Trauma of Being Different (part 1)

He took a clear, log shaped crystal and rolled it from my head to my waist, about 3 inches away from my body and asked if I could feel the energy.
“No.” I said, “I mean, maybe, but my brain is just processing the strangeness of it. I’m only in my brain. I can’t feel any energy.”
He laughed. “No one has ever said that before.”
He looked exactly like a stereotype of a guy who works in a crystal energy healing shop in San Francisco.
”I mean, I’m skeptical to all this. I guess because I don’t really understand the science. But I am open-minded, and I believe there is a lot of things science as we define it, hasn’t been able to explain that are very true….but who really defines truth anyway?…
Mostly I came in because I like the aesthetics of crystals, and I am decorating my room.”
”Are you autistic?”
me, sharply ”No.”
more softly “Well, I’ve not been tested, but…”
I wondered if I was offended or complemented. “Look, I can’t imagine that other people don’t experience that exact same thing. Like, the energy one feels from a crystal is pretty subtle, right? Do you do that to everyone? Do they lie and say they felt the energy?
I know these random ass people coming in here don’t all understand how to embody crystal energy, and are also just decorating.”
”You are very honest is all.” he said, justifying his comment about Autism.
I weirdly felt both seen and alone.

We finished about 30 min of conversations in which he would follow me around telling me about the energy of each crystal, and I would tell him that I was just looking for the ones I thought were pretty and not too expensive, but I don’t mind the vitality or whatever it was to be bringing to my room.

When we got to the checkout, he made a manual list of all the little rocks, and medium size crystals I’d collected. He started punching in the numbers into one of those large calculators with the big black buttons from the 80’s. I took out my phone and checked his math. He looked up at me like a proud parent——slight smile, blushed cheeks “I’ve been doing this 23 years and no one has ever checked my math. It’s nice to meet someone who is different.”

This would make sense if I were back home, at Olive Garden or in the local tavern, in Ohio, but I am at an energy healing center in San Francisco.
I intentionally moved to San Francisco to be around different people.
I felt alone. And, again,
I couldn’t decide if I was offended, or complemented.
I still haven’t decided.
”You work at a crystal healing shop! I would hope lots of people are different that come in here!” I spatted.
”Well, lots of people are pretending to be different. You are different”
I payed for my crystals and left.

The world sure does feel like it’s filled with people pretending to be different these days.

Feminists who send me unsolicited dick pics.
Buddhist teachers who don’t understand Karma.
Fitness professionals who don’t care about health.
Parents who torture their children with anxiety and expectations to help them be happy.
Ally’s who make jokes about marginalized groups.
Musical artists who speak of politics but don’t vote.