I'm a self-contradicting little Catholic school girl who thinks too much and doesn't use her brain often enough. I'm frank, vague, vertically challenged and a hopeless romantic - which often gets me a bonk on the head from my friends. I'm Canadian, but I don't end every other sentence with 'eh.' I'm a stubborn Aries who likes to be in control, but has no self-control to speak of most of the time.
My hair's black, but looks bronzy in the sun. It used to go past my butt; now it just reaches my waist. Someone once thought my eyes were actually black, but really they're brown. I don't think there's such a thing as black eyes. Come to that, there's actually no such thing as black hair. I had a neighbour once who was a hairdresser and she told me that. I can wink with either eye. My cat can, too. It's really cool. I can also flare my nostrils, which I only recently learned not everyone can do.
I like to make bird noises. Actually, animal noises in general – although some people say birds aren't actually animals, for some reason; I never quite understood that. My best is a parrot. I can also do a cat, a dog, a crow, a racoon, a pigeon, a seal and some others I can't quite remember right now.
I weave together tiny bits of glass called seed beads into things known as bracelets and necklaces. I don't know how many I've made, but I reckoned I'm past the fifty mark. There was the first one I made, the one I gave my cousin, the eight I made for my friends at grade seven grad, the thirty I made for my classmates for Christmas in grade eight, the one I gave my grade twelve mentor, the ones I gave to Talia and Andrea and Flavia and…
I don't listen to the music that most of my friends do and I could probably pass by any given movie star on the street without a second glance. My friends say I'm stuck in La-La Land, but I can't seem to find my way out.
I string words into sentences, and sentences into paragraphs, and paragraphs into chapters, and then I call those chapters a story. Some call me a writer; I'd prefer the word dreamer.
I'm lazy and sometimes neglect to cut my nails, but they're pretty strong and don't break that often. My desk's always messy, but I can still find things when I need them. I don't see any point in making my bed, so I never really bother. I don't untie my shoelaces either, or wait until the white-out's dry before writing over it.
My favourite material is chiffon, but of course it's not always practical for everyday use. I like my earrings long and my pants baggy. I hate skirts, but I wear one five days a week because I go to a private school and that's part of the uniform - only, it's really a kilt. I like oxford shirts over camisoles and sleeves that cover my palms. I hate pink, but I love red, so it really bugs me when the dye runs. I have an affinity for boots.
I like to dance when nobody's looking and want to dance when they are, but I get self-conscious most of the time. I'm strong when there are a lot of people doing something with me, but when I'm by myself, I get scared. Except when I'm with my close friends and know they'll never laugh at me. Then I sing and dance and caw at the crows until my voice is hoarse and I sprain my ankle.
I like to research things that nobody really cares about, like the meanings of flowers and semi-precious stones, the properties of herbs, medieval war tactics, classical mythology and a thousand other things, including several languages, both dead and alive. I know a little bit about everything, but not a lot about anything. I suppose in some ways that's a good thing, because it means I don't know enough about any one subject to bore a person to tears.
When people first meet me, they think I'm the quiet one. Then they think I'm the funny one. Then the gutsy one. Then the carefree one. I'm not really sure which 'one' I am. Eventually, I guess they figure it all out and stop trying to figure me out. At first meeting, they also think I'm Pilipino, or, on the odd occasion, Malaysian or Indonesian. It always surprises them when I tell them I'm half Chinese and half East Indian. Other than that, I enjoy being a Mutt.
If I sit on a chair with four legs, I can't sit the way I should. I always lean the chair so that it rests on only one or two legs. If it doesn't I don't feel comfortable. Surprisingly, I don't fall often because of this.
I've never been in love and I'm not sure if I ever want to be. Everyone has their own opinions about it and they confuse me a lot of the time. I've heard people say it's the greatest thing in the world and other people say that it's the stupidest thing in the world. I've seen a boy kneel on glass because he was devastated by being dumped, and I've heard of a couple who got engaged the night they met and never broke up. Despite all this, I still keep a hope chest. It's an old-fashioned idea, not often used in this day and age, but it's one of my whimsical tendencies.
I like to take pictures of trees, for some reason. And marshes and puddles and mountains and ponds. I don't think I'm that great a photographer, though, at least not with candid shots of people. Those always come out looking weird.
Now, my school is one of the weirdest you'll ever come across. People hear the name (Little Flower Academy) and our team name (the Angels), and they think to themselves, 'What a happy little school that sounds like.' The little part is correct. The happy part depends on the eye of the beholder. We get in trouble constantly for rolling up our kilts and leaving our second button undone and wearing bracelets and several other uniform violations. Our biggest fear is the hardcover notebook with an alphabet index that's pressed into our hands in grade ten. We seem to get high off air and it actually came as a shock when two of our grade eights got drunk at school. We belt out Christmas carols in the middle of May, throw prune juice parties after the last P.E. class we'll ever have to endure, learn how to say Hail Mary in three different languages and concoct secret handshakes with our teachers. I'm not saying you have to be crazy to be part of our school community; it just helps you fit in if you are.
When I grow up, there are a million things I want to do, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to do them all. I want to ride a bull, for one. A real bull, not one of those plastic mechanical ones. I want to see the rest of Canada, maybe some of the States, and Europe and Australia, for sure. If I ever have enough money or enough support, I want to open a boarding school for at-risk kids because there are enough normal schools as it is, but teenage homeless rates are still going up. I also want to design clothes as a hobby, own four cars and one motorcycle, as well as have a friend who owns or manages a horse ranch so that I can take the kids from my school horseback riding.
So that's me. The dark-haired girl in the too-long cargoes, who tips her chair backwards, wears a camera around her neck and considers change room vows the most sacred of all in high school. Maybe one day I'll grow up.
A.N. Wrote this for an MSN writer's group and thought I'd put it up here.