They knew something was wrong with poor Mark when he failed to give a word at the age of two. To him, his distrust of the world had cumulated to its climax, resulting in a "holing-off" from what he perceived as the "normal world." To his parents, on the contrary, he became neurotypical, reacting less to spoken word and more to the intermittent television that became his deity. When they tried to pry Mark from the hypnotizing screen, he screamed for hours on end until he became enervated or when they gave in and placed him back in his living room temple, worshipping the deity who taught him pessimism. When they gave in, Mark would flap his hands and smile while blushing, his brain firing with the Roman candles of the past as he saw non-relatives try to tell him what life was all about, among a bunch of other God-given tics. The TV was just making the boy more selfish and less selfless, according to the worn-out parents who raised him. To Mark, however, his parents took him away from the TV because they had conformed to others' words a long time ago, becoming optimistic to the lies of the world. When they made the screen die, he felt only condescension for their actions. Despite his constant psychological dispute over trifles such as television, Mark never fully understood why he rebelled against the morals he was taught in his first two years of life. All he understood was that he walked the same path as Alvy Singer had walked years before his birth. To Mark, the concept of normality was a foreign doctrine.
His struggle with the perception of normality was first brought up when he was four and began to truly appreciate life in a whole new manner for the first time. Compared to others he saw as normal, he deemed himself an outcast based on his behaviors, which led to the world calling him a "bunny unfit for society," one who could not defend himself from the constant predation. Whereas the normal crowd saw predation as God-given and a lifelong journey, Mark saw it in a different context, seeing it as the curse of countless wars over countless millennia, and proposed a solution for it: if anybody would be willing to put down their arms and settle things without treaties or demands, the world would not need to continue predation. He thought one would take his ambitious ideas and apply it to the worldwide system of Keynesian economics, but alas, Mark failed in his ambition, as the world ignored him and predation was continued upon the contravening Earth for millennia to come. Such a negative view on the world's state of affairs gave Mark notoriety amongst his family and limited amount of peers, which drew Mark further away from socializing and more towards the safety and comfort of his room.
For his tics and inability to speak his mind, he eventually outgrew those neurotypical behaviors when he became eight years of age and was promptly mainstreamed into the elementary school by the special education department, which led Mark into his first encounters with the phenomenon known as "real life." Because of his downbeat outlook of life, he was constantly made the target for many prospective bullies who cared more about the world than spiritual matters and was ignored by teachers who wanted to believe in the false hope that the world could correct itself. Everybody saw him only as an asset to education, eventually becoming another cog in the machine of conformity, as did his parents. Ignored by his peers and superiors, Mark slowly gained back a few of his neurotypical behaviors and began to alienate the school with his ideas and neurotic tendencies. Teachers took account of what Mark went through and suggested to his parents that they take him to a psychoanalyst to get examined for any mental disorders, especially one they suspected he had: Asperger's syndrome. His parents took the suggestion and one day when he was nine, they convoyed him over to a psychoanalyst's office, where the main doctor claimed to have knowledge of past analysts Freud, Nietzsche, and Jung. He analyzed the young kid and concluded that Mark had Asperger's syndrome.
Mark, on the contrary, took the Freudian scholar's diagnosis and further proscribing of various electronic devices as plain quack philosophy, as it did not synchronize with what he thought in his mind about his experiences. Two men considered normal and a man devoted to debunking proof of a spiritual realm could not contribute to the study of the disorder that plagued him. However, because of that diagnosis, he was immediately transitioned back into special education, whereas he would take class with normal students pre-prognosis. Mark was stripped of his free will by having not only having no decision-making authority on the matter, but was further dispossessed by having to forever learn the days of the week and sing "Good Morning to
You" with a bunch of heaving, seizing, helmeted kids who did not understand the difference between right or wrong and were constantly punished for behaviors they had absolutely no control over. His only comfort during that tenure was his paraprofessional Deborah, who shared a similar musical taste to him and allowed him to spend most of free time listening to Aerosmith and Chicago records on a loaned turntable from the library, whereas his most loathed time during the day was when they scrubbed his feet, or as they saw them, "bunny paws." Denied the protection of his shoes and socks, Mark would hide in the solitary room with the record playing blasting "Happy Man" and wait for the paraprofessionals to pass by him. His ears pricked up for any sounds and when he found nothing, he went back to listening to the acoustic guitar unlike Terry Kath and saw his mind. To him, this personal hell was the domain he resided in.
Those years were distant memories to Mark when he graduated high school in May of 2001. However, the pain of the memories remained in him as he walked on the stage to gain a certificate that gave him the privilege to go to college, something that he immediately related to Ellison's gold-lettered certificate he had the grandfather give to the invisible man. He knew that the diploma only gave him an inspiration to keep on running for his job, chased away by others who saw of him not as an asset to society but as another "retard." Despite his mind, he decided not to lash out at the graduation ceremony, having left behind a myriad of neurological behaviors ever since he was removed from special education in third grade, and accept the award like everybody else. Mark felt sick as he was handed the award by the devilish principal and opened it as soon as he went back to his seat. It was blank, much like everybody else's, and normally, a blank diploma to a normal person symbolizes the ease of confusion by a school, but to Mark, a blank diploma meant that high school was worth nothing, similar to Frank Zappa's opinion on public education he had heard from one of his long-playing records, Roxy and Elsewhere. He placed the award and focused on his own ejection from society. He was tired of it, having been tired of it since he was a young "meek rabbit." His disease had taught him so.