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"What is your name?"
I tell him my name.
"And to which phyle do you belong?"
I have no tribe, I say.

Immediately, this guy's face goes all bundled up, big deep lines erupt down his pockmarked, greasey skin, down cheeks from near his long, hawkish nose and stretching down below his mouth until they meet his sextupled jowels. His lifeless beady eyes are going squinty, and his fat face is mottling to a kind of red.

His face is saying things like, "I'm trying not to throw up right now, but there's a talking pile of diarheal foecal matter in front of me."

He won't look me in the eyes, so I stare him down while I smile apologetically, the way soulless car salesmen are trained to.

He attempts to say something, and from the high pitch of his voice, I infer that it is a base inquiry, requesting that I clarify upon my former statement.

You get used to this. People won't look at you. Being in your presence reminds them of aborted fetuses, conjoined twins, hermaphrodites, burn victims, lepers, child molesters, and rapists. It reminds them of ghouls eating the flesh of the dead, faeries that steal their children, trolls that live under bridges.

Asking them to really look at or listen to you, that's just unreasonable, isn't it?
"I have no tribe," I repeat, offering no further explanation. Invariably, an explanation only makes it worse. Make it gruesome, and they hate you. Make it tame and they hate you more, because you're a liar. It doesn't matter if it's true.

Asking them to believe you, it's like asking them to take the Devil at his word.

Even if you're normal, these people's handlers don't care about your name. Most of them don't care what color you are. Not really, anyway. They only care about how much money you make because they want to make sure they're paid.

Tell them you don't have a tribe, these people don't know what to do with you. They assume you sleep in an alley, that you are incapable of controlling nonstop urges to rape, murder, and steal. They assume you shoot methamphetamines and have tuberculosis.

But you get used to it. After awhile, it's just second nature to lie about it when you can. Find some phyle that doesn't really have any prescriptions or mores, and represent as if you were.

Sometimes, though, you just have to prey upon those who have no choice but to serve you. It's their duty, it's the way of their tribe. In X instance, they do Y, regardless of Z.

It's times like these you take the time to give praise to beaurocracies and say a prayer to the ruthless capitalist ventures that make your existence survivable. To these machinistic societies, you are just a number in a ledger, a name on a list. The Mobb is held at bay, and monsters are saved from burning at the stake, sterilization, slave labour, and purification surgeries that focus on the removal of certain portions of your frontal lobe.

These indiscriminate, equal opportunity abusers are a global network of extended family, ready to take you to court over unpaid rent and phone bills, ready to loan you money on incredulous interest. Ready to turn you in, but only for a reward from Crimestoppers. So anxious to sell their dream to you, so eager to forget about you once you've bought it. They are the alocoholic fathers we always wished we had.

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