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Community
By
George S Geisinger

The man cannot find a concept of community with those around him. There has never really been a concept of community where he's been almost all of his life. His father's professional background was unsuccessful, and the family did not have a stable basis of constancy to fall back on, anywhere they went. The problem was not simply isolated to his childhood, either.
The man was a transient, all his life long.
They moved around every year, for his first several years in life, and there was always something inside of the boy that was never really resolved in the man. There is an irrational fear that had finally reached a point of definition for him, and the man finally knows why he has been afraid all his life. 
It should have stopped him from running altogether, and it did, but it did not help him to be more comfortable where he was. He likes it here, but wants to run away anyway.
It isn't his fault.
It was a concentrated form of child abuse that had made him a shape shifter all his life. It was confusing to those around him, because the man could not maintain a consistent persona throughout his dealings with anyone around him. It has been a matter of torment that had done this thing to him, and few have any concept of the extent of the torment itself.
But the knowledge of it didn't resolve his feeling of being an unknown and unsettled individual in all of his social pursuits, throughout his life. There have always been people who knew the man, and then noticed the man disappeared from their circles abruptly. 
There had always been a question about whether the man had lived or died. 
There was no way for the man to transmit the answer to such a question to the people who matter the most.
His removal from the society of his friends had been so frequent. so abrupt, with no coherent statements tossed around among those that matter, about where he'd gone, or why. He imagines there must be hundreds – even thousands – of friends of his, who honestly have no report, no clear concept of where the Shadow had gone, or how he fared in life since they'd last seen him.
He had his concept of diary keeping settled relatively well. He could make observations about his surroundings rather easily. The Shadow was indeed a writer. The issue of circulating his documentation was part of the problem. No one knew, by enlarge, where the boy or the man ended up going on to. He would just disappear from their circles and never come back. 
That was his MO.
He can remember events, and chronicle things that have transpired around him rather accurately. He's a good historian of things that had happened around him, and to him as well, up to a point. But the man is not so good at congealing his experience into a cohesive, whole concept of human dynamics, nor is he good at publishing his continuity of life to his many friends, would know and understand what had happened to him.
He is always bailing out of awkward situations.
But how does one arrive at a concept of community? How can one man, who's been betrayed and abused by so many, begin to trust one solitary environment, such that he feels comfortable enough to stay put, long enough that he can develop friendships and put down roots where he is.
What he wants to do is the same thing as he'd always done. He wants to runaway. He wants to devise a plan to engineer his own escape from his very stable environment, so that he can generate even more perplexed people, who cannot know where he's gone.
This is his instinctual response to staying in one place for the better part of two years. He's been brought up to be runaway, and he is finally more reserved at doing such things than he's ever been before. The other thing standing his way, where he is, is that he truly likes it where he's living.
The man is not interested in leaving his place behind. It has proven to be too secure for leaving. He has no idea where to go, so he postpones all plans to run, and all plans to travel. His relative safety and comfort of his current circumstances are significant enough.
He understands he has no comparable place to turn to.
There are his many friends, and those he knows who care about him. There are also people he cares about the most, well enough to know about them, specifically, and that those people are significant to him, right here where he is. The Shadow no longer has any place to run.
He's been edged out of the places he used to run.
Then there are people he will not associate within his environment. They managed to get themselves classified as dangerous to his best interest. The man is not interested in flirting with danger anymore than he can avoid it. He'd done too much of that already. He figures it won't be safe to associate with those people at all, so he just edges them out of his circles altogether. 
Avoiding eye contact, and not responding to them is effective, by enlarge.
The man is a shape shifter. A loner. He has a way of being one thing at one time, and something else altogether at another time. It isn't a matter of integrity, it's a matter of definitions. There are times the man can be the life of the party, and has the love and respect of all around him. Other times, he is unable to be the slightest bit social with anyone. 
He withdraws.
Those times will shift him into his time in his suite, where he will become something – someone – else, entirely. The use of power plants had done enough of the work on his thinking and perceptions to narrow down his feelings of brotherhood and trust of others. 
The Shadow believes he has known few brothers.
There are a very few, indeed, that he will actually admit that he knows significantly, any dynamics of those around him. Mostly, the man does not figure he knows others hardly at all. It is only that others know him, and that he will freely tell certain people certain things about himself. 
Then there are the things he'll write, and things he won't.

 


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