once upon a time, there was a strange girl. she knew she was strange, because whenever she said something, people looked at her strangely, or laughed, even when she was being serious. she knew she was strange, because the things that people who weren’t strange liked were totally boring and almost painful to her. she knew she was strange because even her family didn’t know who she was, or even care. they said they cared for her, but they didn’t care to know who or what she was. she knew she was strange because learning all about who people were, what they liked or didn’t like, acted or didn’t, when they were likely to get angry and how to calm them down…was so much a part of her that she hardly noticed. except when people didn’t even know how to do that, and they didn’t even want to learn. when they couldn’t see the whole picture even when their eyes were wide open, and she couldn’t not see it. Sometimes, in a crowd, it got too much, and her head couldn’t hold all the things, so people said she was afraid of crowds. she didn’t like crowds, because if she missed one thing from one person, they might get angry or want to hurt her, but in a crowd the…things were too many, and she might miss one. she hated people to get angry. it hurt and scared her, which is how she knew she was really really strange. because most people, even the people she came from, seemed to like to get angry. to complain about the people on the road, or in the office, or in the grocery store, or in church, and they got super angry and yelled and talked hurtful things that made the girl run and hide, but some places there was nowhere to hide, so she had to hide in herself, and some times it was hard to find her way back out. sometimes she had her real place, and it was hers, no other body to go there, just her things, put her way, so she could go and curl up and breathe. but sometimes, she had to make a place, in someone elses space, and she had to work really hard to make it feel like hers, because it was always in the air, and she never knew when it’d be pulled out from under her and she’d be left in the cold again.
so the strange girl lived and breathed and hid and learned and read and learned, and played and learned, and learned and learned and learned. but no one thought she knew anything, because she had no papers to show them, and they thought papers were magic, even when they were out of books, so they thought she was ignorant or stupid and even she felt that way when they said it. so she would go and hide and learn and learn, but whenever she tried to tell someone a truth she’d learned, they just laughed at her, and said i guess you got that off the internet, you can’t believe all of that. she knew how to find things, how to learn things, how to find all the things and look at them and put the true bits together like a puzzle and sometimes it came all at once, but the people who weren’t strange couldn’t see more than one bit at a time, so they dismissed it, and her.
and one day the strange girl met some strange people, but she still didn’t belong, but it was ok because they were all people who didn’t fit in, together. so she waited, and she got friends, and she got to know how to not make anyone angry, and how to not be noticed, and she did that except with her friends and so nothing bad happened. then something bad did happen, and it made everyone so angry and hurt and hurt and hurt, forever, because bad men shot her brother so that he died, and it made her family fall apart and no one had enough glue for all of them, so they just glued their part, and hid there. and the strange girl went back to her place and hid for a long time, and then she found a strange boy, and he wanted to know all about her, to know who she was. so she learned who he was, and it was good, and she wouldn’t hurt him unless bad bad things happened, so they were a one for a long time. and they found another strange girl, and they lived with her, in her nest, and she had a little baby, and the strange girl loved babies, because they were so easy to know, and they were easy to play with, and take care of, and the strange girl loved the little baby, but bad things happened again, and this time she made them happen. she got sick, and she couldn’t fix it, and she couldn’t hide, and she couldn’t help it, so she couldn’t be who she was. and the strange boy and the strange girl went away to hide from her, and she went back to the family of angry people and tried to make a place to hide, but it didn’t work.
so she hid in the words, because they never hurt her, and they never got angry, and they never hated and screamed and ranted…some did, but not hers. and so the strange girl lived her strange life, and some people said she should be more interested in talking to real people, and she would just sigh and tell them one more time, even though she knew they would never understand, that the people on the computer, the people in the words, were real people too. they were just far away people.
and then she hid, for good, and no one on the outside could find her, even though they looked and looked, but all they found was her alive body, and her dead and hiding brain.