Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Microstory 1863: Magnetic

I’ve met, and heard about, voldisil before. There seems to be a consensus that each one of them is born with two spirit abilities. One is whatever specific special thing they can do. The other is simply knowing that that’s what they are. If I’m a voldisil, then I only have the first thing, and not the second. I’m not inherently conscious that there’s something different about me, but there must be, right? I mean, no single person can run into this many unusual people over the course of a lifetime. My home life was normal. My parents were normal, my half-brother was normal, my neighbors were normal. In high school, I started asserting my independence, which is very normal. As a result, I began to regularly leave my bubble behind, and met all sorts of—let’s call them quirky—characters. I think the first time I noticed it was when I was in psychology class. I had this thing where I would sit at the desk in the far corner of the room on the first day of school. The more interested I became in the subject, the farther up I would move, sometimes to great annoyance to the students who had already chosen their spots, and wanted to stay there. So it was the second day, and I still didn’t think I would want to move, when another kid sat next to me who I guess skipped the first day of school. He seemed to think that we were kindred spirits, even though we didn’t know each other. His big thing was serial killers. He signed up for that course so he could learn all about them. Fine, whatever; to each their own, but he wouldn’t stop pestering me about it. He wanted us to share in the passion for the topic, and I wasn’t into it. I found it difficult to move on the third day. People knew I did that by then, and even though I went in early to get a different seat, they kicked me out. But he was just the first. The first of many.

I could not go on a single blind date, or even a non blind date, without that date deciding that I wanted to hear their weird ideas, like how the stars weren’t real, and if animals don’t wear clothes, why do humans? One of them didn’t like to eat bread, which I’m sure doesn’t sound too crazy, but for me, it’s a non-starter. I met this one guy at a party who thought that water was trying to talk to us through the bubbling and jetting in fountains. A neighbor of mine when I got my own place kept sleepwalking into my unit. I even had the super change the locks, but that guy always managed to get in. Come to find out, he happened to be a thief, and while he wasn’t trying to steal from me, muscle memory occasionally drove him to break in to any door he saw. When I finally got a job, all of my coworkers were bizarre in their own special ways. I began to wonder if they were hired as part of some charity for flat-earthers and autistic people. I know, that sounds really insensitive, but it made me question my sanity, because if I was saying such things about them, what did others say about me? Were they the normal ones, and I was the weirdo? What if none of those people even existed, and I just made them all up in my padded cell? This continued throughout the rest of my life. I met a lot of regulars, to be sure, but the ratio of people I couldn’t understand or relate to seemed higher than it should be. Well anyway, I don’t think I have any superpowers. I don’t think I’m voldisil. I think it’s either dumb luck, or I’m particularly judgmental, and it’s something I never got over. Or it’s like my mom said, everyone’s a little strange, and part of what makes me unique is my tendency to pick up on people’s special traits. Yeah, that makes me sound kind of nice. I’m gonna go with that. I’m not a crazy person magnet. I’m a niche detector.

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