Man, was I odd.
Odd because I openly expressed my desire to leave, to explore.
My best “partner in crime” was my mother, and I legitimately enjoyed math homework because finding the answer was so rhythmic. I had interests in academics, books, and Ocarina of Time, and yet my first boyfriend’s mother labeled me as a “bad influence.” (Which, most likely, was because of the leopard-print pants.) I was also odd because, when it came to schoolwork, I was competitive, and when it came to athletics (something on which my home community puts emphasis), I was uninterested.
I’m not sure if I was awkward because I was terrible at sports, or terrible at sports because I was clumsy and all limbs. And all toes. And all fingers. And lots of mindless flailing. I wildly kicked at soccer balls and was teased with nicknames like “Grasshopper Legs.” When I was fourteen, I managed to jam my right ring finger by almost catching a softball in P.E. It smacked the top of my finger, scrunched my tendons, and left me with a brace and a claw-shaped hand until after my birthday. When I was nine, I sprained my ankle after jumping on a basketball (though that particular incident was more stupidity than awkwardness). I’ve had only one bike accident, amazingly, and one rollerblading slide that, for four weeks, left me with a raw patch of skin on my ass.
Man, am I clumsy.
In November, I pinched my finger in a retractable garage door. And, every day, I drop things, pick them up, drop them again. I trip over cracks in the sidewalk, nonexistent cracks in the sidewalk, my own feet. I walk into walls. All the time, I slam my shoulder or hip into a door frame. Brown and blue and purple spots freckle my skin. Too many accidents. Too many spots. I’m an accidental leper. On the thigh, on the calf, on the forearm, I count my bruises. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen. A bruise every 1.5 hours.
The bruises are deep. In P.E., I was often picked last.
But I'm also MAGIC.
While getting ready for work, I thought I would "surprise" Hans by suddenly and quietly appearing in the bedroom doorway. Said doorway is just off the main room, straight across from where Hans keeps his computer. He was on reddit, pecking away at the keyboard.
I shuffled across the bedroom, a change of clothes in my arms, and swept my entire being into the doorway. I stood there, silent, straight.
Hans halfway turned his head toward me, distracted. "What'cha doing?"
"Surprising you. See? I magically and suddenly appeared."
"Yes. You're very special." He turned back to the computer.
I pointed my finger at him, shook it as menacingly as I could while holding a pile of clothes, and said, "Remember, I'm magic." I raised my eyebrows, daring him to challenge me. Hans just stared, amused. I started to make my way to the bathroom, finger still stretched accusingly. "MAGIC," I said.
And then I tripped over a chair.
* * * * * * * * * *
For a visual comparison, watch Steve Buscemi's drunk character in "The Wedding Singer."