I was born special, in July instead of September. I was born special like a gold charm in a velvet case only opened up on birthdays and Christmas. I was born special and I always had a job to do. I had to make up for the past. I was born special. I was always a signifier for redemption.
Special named me after the fucking son of God and special gave me two religions instead of one. Special convinced my mom not to give me up for adoption, and special taught her how to raise a rich girl in a slummy neighborhood.
I grew up so special that I even learned to pick her for myself. Special handed me a wad of rubber and told me to erase my drunk dad from the picture. Special got me a scholarship to an all-girl’s Catholic school even though I was Jewish. Special taught me to pass. Special made me give up my second language, and special made me trust the slippery voice of fate. Special made me shove all my sexiness down into a tiny box and hide it under the bed. Special lured me into a cage and called it home.
Special is a good teacher. She knows all about feelings and she cares about responsibility. She’s an expert at creating reality. She taught me to read and to listen, to watch others. She taught be to be a shape-shifter and to become what people want. Special showed me how to exist only for other people.
Lately, special and I have been talking. I told her that I’m sick and tired of her. I told her to get out of town for awhile. I bought a big mirror and I broke a few of her rules. I started doing some of the things I always wanted to do. I started hanging with unspecial.
Unspecial never pays any attention to me. Unspecial doesn’t care how I look and she lets me have my way every time. Unspecial lets me wander in and out of rooms that used to be boarded up and she lets me leave the doors open behind me. Unspecial doesn’t expect anything. Unspecial could care less about the past. Unspecial let me pick my own name. I like her.
Hanging with unspecial makes me miss special, though. Special and unspecial are both funny. They’re quick and sly and smart. I need them both but I don’t trust either one.