December 31, 2008
By Corinne Engber, Dayton, OH

I let the music from my iPod sink into my mind as I sit at my computer, typing. My long, trench coat-like black shirt clings to my thin frame, and under it, I wear a black t-shirt sporting two cats jumping from planet to brightly colored plant. I’m the original Freak. The Different Person; the one who is so strange, she can’t be real. Hippie, Bohemian, Animal Girl, all stereotypes are familiar to me. They fit me well. I am a hippie and an animal lover. PETA is lucky to have me.

Sweeney Todd voices his disgust over man devouring man into my ears. My king-size Siamese naps on the bed next to me. I type some more, then examine the story. It flows, each idea blending together. Like the students at my school, mixing together like a properly written sentence. But sometimes there’s a bump. Like a fragment of sentence or a new word that shows up misspelled. But sometimes it’s good. Yet the crowd, like the Word program, tries to get rid of that lump. Just as the program underlines the word or phrase in red and green, a group of middle schoolers will point out the “error” child right away. They’ll do whatever it takes, from teasing to physical harassment, to make her be like them. I’m the exception. I’ve taken on an entire school of clones and remained intact, which originality still in place. I’m the Albert Einstein of my school. I’m so different, I stand out. I’m shameless. I’m the delicate angelfish in a sea of sharks; beautiful, but poisonous.

I’m an original, the archetype of my kind. The only one that will ever be. I’m the strange Jewish writer girl that everyone knows and no one wants to know. I’ve found some of my kind, but even they don’t understand me. I’m an enigma even to myself.

I memorize. Buried under mountains of books, rivers of words, I hide. Edgar Allen and Louis C. are my companions for life. I speak in puns and laugh at mediocrity. I embrace change and shun consistency. I am untouchable.

You can’t scare me, I’m a Freak, I’m Different. Nothing’s scarier than an Original. Nothing frightens what all are afraid of. Individualism terrifies everyone.

Me, scary? I laugh at the thought. But I am. To clones of the teenage stereotype, anything foreign is terrifying. Including the skinny author girl without a speck of make-up masking her features. I type some more. Sweeney continues to sing.

I’m constantly on the tightrope of sanity. One misstep and everything that makes me unique vanishes. I’ve been pushed many times, and even relented a little, but I remain different.

And different is good enough for me.

Similar Articles


This article has 2 comments.

on Jan. 19 2009 at 4:23 pm
This is wonderful! I love how you end it, the last paragraph is such a detailed metaphor, and then

"and different is good enough for me."

Wonderful bit of writing!

on Jan. 14 2009 at 1:05 pm
Great story!!! A 5-star, for sure! I know this is fiction, but I love how you've based it off of real life! It makes the whole thing more real. :) Awesome!!!!!

Parkland Book