What It’s Like to Be Different

I’m not the same as them.

I follow the beat of a different drum.

I’m strange. Odd. Peculiar. Mysterious.

 

It’s a good thing.

 

“You’re unique.”

“You’re quirky.”

“You’re a character.”

I make life my own.

 

It’s not a good thing.

 

“Why can’t you just act normal?”

“What’s wrong with you?”

“Will you ever change?”

I don’t harmonize with their chorus.

 

I’ve been labeled

An “enigma”

A “wild card.”

I’ve been individuated with

“Asterisks”

“Red flags.”

 

I’ve been called:

“Interesting”

In a good way.

“Special”

In a good way.

“Different”

In a good way.

 

Different has a wide range of personalities.

Different is terrible.

Different is inexplicable.

Different is hilarious.

Different is wonderful.

 

But the thing to keep in mind is this:

Different is different.

 

And that’s the only thing you’re certain of getting

When you deal with me.

 

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What It’s Like to Visit Home

I’m in a big yard in a suburban neighborhood by myself, ball and glove in hand, and I walk inside and there’s pictures on our wall and it’s our wedding, except it’s only me in a tuxedo, and a few family members in the audience, but they’re not smiling; they’re worried, they’re dying, it’s too late. Another picture: I’m tossing a Frisbee to a ghost of a baby that won’t exist in time, in time for my grandparents to see it, in time for me to be a great-grandparent, in time for us to be a young happy family, and everyone’s moving on, and I go back to the empty yard, and I’m surrounded by empty houses, and on another block are all of my friends and their families, happy, real, official, in time, and I wander through their blocks but now they’re busy, busy with reality, and I’m lonely so I go back to my empty street, and I’m even lonelier, and I don’t know what to do to make my block as colorful as their block, and I just want to start over and live a real life, and I feel like it’s already too late, I’ve already admitted defeat by Time, and I look back and try to figure out where I went wrong.