Saturday, October 21, 2006

Just Your Average Brainiac Geek Stereotype

Just look at me. (Okay, you can't, and don't go looking for pictures because, honestly, this is the Internet, folks. It is the age of not believing what you see. Reality is fluid. So pictures of me? Feh. It could be of me or of some chick with measurements that sound like my high school locker combonation (Locker 48C: 38-22-34. in case you're ever in my old high school). You would never know, and who really cares?)

I'm 5'8". I have drab, dizzling-shit brown hair. Glasses. (Would it have hurt my mom to eat some fucking carrots every now and then while I was in the womb?) I'm thin enough that older ladies look at me and say, "You should eat," but girls my age tell me, "Being thin is wasted on you, bitch." (Honest to God quote there. Yeah, like I enjoy freezing when the temps hit 65 outside.) My skin is moderately clear until I get close to my period, then it looks like a Parkinson's victim attacked my face with a knitting needle. I do concede to loving my eyes, which are a pearly green. Not that they are noticed by many because of the glasses. And, sadly, I am a C-cup, which makes me come across like a carrot stick with two olives glued to it. They get stared at more than my eyes, but ...ah, well, fuck it.

People notice the wrong things. They don't notice when I fix posters on display on the street that are falling down or straighten up a mess someone leaves behind. And they never notice when I navigate the curb without tripping. But they notice when I trip or walk into things like trash cans because I'm distracted by a passer-by who is oblivious to my presense less than two feet away.

And they notice when I read. They've been noticing since I was five. I was the kid the librarian would hide from because I wanted a stack of the little storybooks back when I was barely able to manipulate the things without dropping them (still do that). Aunts would quiz my mother with "Is it healthy for her to be reading that much?" Other kids used to ask me to play dolls, and I was happy to do so, but I didn't want to just pretend to go shopping. No. My doll wanted to fly and smash rocks and dig for relics and act out silly shows. Apparently, that wasn't the right way to play dolls. Boys wouldn't let me play because they said I'd get hurt, and that I should just go read my stupid books.

So, I played on the swings with Bettie O., who thought I was funny and liked to pretend we were flying when we went high on the swings. She was the best friend I had until she left the summer between fourth and fifth grade. After that, I'd just hide in a classroom during recess and read. That was around the time kids started taking some sort of offense to my reading, and would throw my books around the schoolyard. It was safer inside. And Mrs. Terryson would sometimes come in atalk to me about my books. She loved kids books, and had read almost every one of the books in our school library. She had even read Have Spacesuit, Will Travel by Robert Heinlein, which is still one of my favorites.

Brainiac. Sounds like a cliche, something from a stupid 80's teen sex comedy. And it is. But they still used it. I let them. I didn't fight. Hell, I'd usually offer one of my books to read, and I did so without even the slightest hint of sarcasm. I never offered my good books, the ones I loved. And there were times I was taken up on the offer. A couple of times they said they threw the books away. Often it would be returned to me by way of another student or a teacher. Now and then, the borrower would return the book and say things like, "Why do you spent your time reading this crap?" Twice, from different girls, the book was returned with the admission they actually read the book. Once, the girl asked if I would suggest another. That was Millie, now Millie of the Million Miles, because that is how far away she seems. She became my single greatest friend and still is.

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