For many years growing up I thought one of two things might be possible concerning my origin; 1. I was left on my parent’s doorstep and they decided to keep me. 2. My mom was out gardening in the backyard one morning, found an interestingly shaped pod, brought it into the house and a few weeks later I emerged and they decided to keep me. Most people if they were given a wish would wish for riches or for the perfect life but not me, nope, I would wish for at least three months where I could live life close to normal. Ridiculous you say? Liar, you think? You know that saying we said as kids…"See ya, wouldn’t want to be ya?" Well, if you say that to me, no truer words could be spoken.
Harold is twelve years older than me but he often jokes and tells people…"Yeah, I thought I was getting this young girl but I should have had her teeth checked like you do when you buy a horse. She started falling apart at twenty-three and hasn’t stopped since!" Okay, put the baseball bats down, I already burned his eggs this morning, he has been punished enough!
Twice in my life I have heard doctors tell me I had cancer, once at twenty-three and again in my forties. I am not sure why but neither time really upset me that much in that I never cried or became depressed. I suppose I have always come at life with the attitude of it being a gift and knowing there is nothing permanent about it and so someone telling me I have an expiration date didn’t surprise me. I figure we are like cartons of milk and the most important thing is to make sure we don’t become sour before our time here is done.
I was one of the lucky ones, I survived what my crazy body tried to do. My siblings are convinced the reason I have been so ill through the years is not because I am alien but because I stayed in the Houston area so long and around chemical plants. I used to chase the mosquito truck on my bike and breathe in DDT!! Oh good heavens, I ride in 106 degree temperatures for hours, chase trucks spraying DDT…will someone please keep me off a bicycle! It is no wonder I have auto immune diseases and all sorts of issues. (we are not speaking of the mental ones, so drop the straight jacket)
Until I moved to San Saba, I never knew what clean air smelled like. As a child, when people spoke of plants, instead of elephant ears or rose bushes, I thought they were talking about Carbide, Phillips or Celanese. My grandfather came for a visit from Berkeley, California and he got up one morning and asked us what that horrid smell was and we looked at him and said…"What smell?" He was my maternal grandfather and was a renowned Professor of Russian literature at Berkeley and did not have much of a sense of humor. I am quite sure he thought my mom had produced a pack of Texas illiterates because he thought us quite senseless and senseless. I was always thankful my mom did not incorporate his parenting tool of language of the day. When she was a child, each day there was a different language spoken and if you didn’t speak the language of the day everyone ignored you. I would have been the loneliest child unless nonsense had been a language. Well, maybe not all that lonely because being the little alien I am, I would have talked to myself. I had six siblings and I still talked to myself but that was mainly because they grew very, very tired of me talking to them.
My mom told me I had an imaginary friend when I was very little and I would blame her for all bad things I did. She said it was so difficult to punish me because I was so sincere in my belief it had been my friend and not me who had perpetrated the wrongful deed. Before she died, my mom tried to remember what I called my imaginary friend but the name never came to mind.
We are here for a finite amount of time and alien or not, we must create our own wishes and be our own magic wand. Whether or not we fit in where we are is not the point it is whether or not we fit into our own hearts. A bully anywhere is only as strong as we make him. Take pride in marching to a different drummer, hearing a strange melody or being this side of normal. Well, it is time for me to crawl into my pod, my imaginary friend is tired and needs a nap. I love you all with all my heart.