So! You’ve made it this far. Good. Welcome back.
About that bat-like vision I mentioned last time… It’s made me exceptionally clumsy… I walk into walls, I trip over my own feet (which is a talent in itself – I have teeny feet) and of course, stairs look flat to me. And escalators! Don’t get me started!
But then – clouds and silver linings… there is the advantage of advanced healing. No, wounds do not instantly close up like they do in the films. That would just be creepy. All righty… I’ll tell you more about this later but there are several incidents of this happening. When I wrecked my ankle and broke a finger. When I lacerated my face and broke a rib. And the first really notable event was in my teens, when I fell off the bike, hit a hedge, cracked my skull, lacerated my scalp (practically scalping myself) and broke a collarbone. Injuries heal up roughly 3 to 4 times faster than normal.
Funnily (Do I mean ‘funnily’?) enough, two of those three incidents happened because the sunlight was in my eyes and I couldn’t see. The other one happened because of the rain…
More about that another time.
You want gruesome details? You’ll have them, I promise.
Illnesses, viruses and the like, when they do catch up with me, are liable to either go unnoticed or have the impact of a mild chill. Heck, I even went to work with Swine Flu and carried on working. I didn’t even realise I had it… Bad. I just thought I was a bit coldy….
If you’re interested, I can share some of my secrets… things that anyone can do. But you’ll have to ask nicely.
Did I get picked on at school? Of course I did. I always stuck out from the crowd a little bit. Hey, even the nerds picked on me. I was too white, too blonde, I had crooked fingers, I had a big nose (“Concorde”, anyone?), I sounded funny, I had a weird accent, I spoke a strange guttural language (no, nothing outrageous, just Welsh), and of course the sensitivity to sunlight, coupled with those teeth.
But I think the thing that made me stand out more than anything else, and made me most ‘deserving’ of everyone’s suspicions and antipathy was the fact that I was more intelligent than the lot of them put together. Sorry if that sounds a bit arrogant. But that’s how it felt at the time. Reading at 3, writing sonnets at 4, reading (and understanding) Shakespeare when my classmates were still working out which end of the crayon was best for stabbing people with…
I was determined not to go to nursery school. I was holding out for Big School. So, at the grand old age of 5 years and 2 months, I turned up: a poodle-haired moppet in sensible shoes and a coat 2 sizes too big. And a liberty bodice. Dang those things! They were supposed to be a comfortable, fleecy alternative to a vest that originally started off in the 19th century as an alternative to the corset. I’d have rather had the corset any day. Actually, I have something of a penchant for corsets. Oops, off on a tangent…
Anyway, this liberty bodice must have been made of inch-thick roofing felt which I was strapped into every day, like some kind of infant body armour. I was barely able to lower my arms due to its thickness. I had to walk around with this perpetual tough-guy gait, looking like I was looking for a fight.
Luckily for me, I found plenty!
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