This is my life.
Last Tuesday my mom and dad didn’t feel like cooking, so we went out to eat. The waiter who brought our water sprinkled salt on the drink napkins, explaining that that way the glass didn’t stick to the paper. We nodded politely, and once he was gone I got up, left the restaurant, and spun in seven circles counterclockwise while my parents removed every offending grain. Then my dad came to invite me back inside.
I ordered a meatless salad with honey mustard dressing—the purest nature on the menu—but of course it came with bacon on. So I just kind of went hungry, because there was no way they would make me a new salad back there, they would probably just pick the bacon off and bring the same salad back out. Death is an anathema to the likes of me—immortals, earth beings. We never eat meat.
So anyway, one of my classmates walked in—someone who for the purposes of this blog I will call Ashley. I give her a cordial nod, and she replies with a wary “weird girl noticed me” stare. Most human kids can’t stand me because they’re freaked out by my vocabulary, and something else, maybe in the way I move, that tells them I’m a hundred years old and possibly out for their blood (ridiculous) or to steal their young (completely fair). Funny thing is, I’m pretty sure I work harder to “fit in” than most of them combined. I buy the right clothes, but not too many of them. I style my hair as closely to theirs as possible, except that I can’t use chemicals—another anathema. I even practice my speech patterns and gestures.
Fairies can’t catch a break, man.
So that happened. Afterward, I’m like, okay, fine, bring me a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and who cares if it will make me violently ill tomorrow? Maybe I can get out of school. But then, what do they do but bring it in a metal container? Metal doesn’t kill us fair folk, or iron, or whatever you say it is, but we do happen to think it’s gross—something so elemental pulled out of the earth, air, water, and forced into such an unnatural form, for us it’s like seeing an arm twisted the wrong way— and it totally puts us off our dinners. I actually have to carry around a wooden set of flatware that I carved myself.
So finally we leave. And in the parking lot there’s Siobhan Three-Eyes, who only I can see, because of course she’s fae just like me. She likes to creep around the rest of us and dole out warnings she thinks of as cryptic and ghoulish. And, because I know you’re wondering, no, I have no idea how to pronounce her name. When she appears to you, the word just shows up in your brain like a signature. Like today’s meeting:
“Beware the ides of March!” SIOBHAN.
Which made me laugh, because she had to be talking about my English final on Julius Caesar, and if all goes according to plan, my human guise won’t see it through to graduation.
Well, I feel like I’ve talked too long. It’s just too easy. I haven’t been able to talk to anyone else about this, except for sort of my parents, ever. I hope you guys are reading out there. It means a lot to me, in a fairyish, physically-incapable-of-caring-too-deeply-about-anyone kind of way.
A lot of people complain about being a teenager. It’s in the nature of teenagerdom to complain, I suppose. A lot of people on this web site do it. A lot of people do it in high school hallways. To tell the truth, I’m kind of jealous of them—those whose lives are horrible in a normal, human, teenagerish way.
I will never be able to do that sort of complaining. Not without lying through my crooked teeth, anyway. I will never again be able to groan about the trials of being seventeen, as I’m already 100 friggin’ years old. I will never fret about the uncertainty of my future—I know far, far too well where it’s going. And I’ll never, ever complain about the parents I’m living with. I know my real ones are much worse.
This is the life of a fairy changeling. If you’re interested to see some top-of-the-line, completely original complaining—the quality of complaint you only stumble upon once in a very, very long while—then stick with me.
I mean, I’m a fairy.