Earlier today I stubbed my toe but didn’t cry because I’m built different.
I once had to pull a two inch nail out of the bottom of my foot in complete darkness using a pair of pliers and an old towel. The next day I walked barefoot on the beach because I’m built different.
As a person with O- blood, strange supernatural things happen to me often. I have two lines, seemingly parallel, on the back of my right hand. When I touch the scars, my fingers feel like the aline scalpels that cut me all those years ago. I don’t remember the abduction, but I know I didn’t cry because I’m built different.
When I was on the floor, writhing in pain, covered in buckets of foreign blood, I didn’t wail. I didn’t clench at the wound in my chest or grab at the ceremonial dagger inches away from my fingers. I didn’t tear off the burlap hood or comment on the lackluster latin chanting. Using my keen sense of hearing and exposed toes, I felt my way out of the sacrificial circle. Dripping with blood, I snuck past my captors and into the night. Because I’m built different.
They say arsenic makes the breath smell like garlic, but the reason I eat it by the handfuls isn’t as a warning to cannibals. No, as a survivor, I eat garlic to keep away the vampires. I’ve lost countless pints of my blood to the local fanged rancheros, they come with their sheriff and wizard to knock on my window late at night. In those moments when I’m so dizzy from the blood loss that I can no longer feel their lust, right before I succumb to the bidding of my dark masters, I simply stand up and walk away. I leave behind the leather clad brood who are laughing and drinking their fill to walk into the light. I survive every time because I’m built different.
When I realized I left my silver bullets at home, I didn’t panic. Staring into the yellowing eyes of a half-demon werewolf in nothing but a pair of converse and an antique hospital gown would usually scare anyone. But not me cause I’m built different. Standing under the light of the full moon, I still had a gun loaded with normal bullets. I pointed the barrel at the snarling beast in front of me, making sure to aim it directly between its eyes. My hand, quavering as I moved my finger onto the trigger, startled the beast. As it lunged, I shot at the tree branch above its head and down came a rotund beehive onto the monster’s noggin. Obviously, I am allergic to bees, but luckily for me, so are werewolves. I had decided to not get stung, so I didn’t, because I’m built different.
One day as a child, I decided to learn how to swim, so I did. Unfortunately, knowing how to swim was no use to me in the middle of a sea battle. My ship tossed back and forth under my feet, I had had my sea legs for weeks at this point, and yet I struggled to stay upright. The black water licked the sides of the deck and washed away our ammunition and crewmates into the terrors below. The ocean water splashed at my wounds, letting me know I was still alive to fight, and my sword, heavy in hand, gave me the means to a cause. When the cursed beak broke through the surface of the water, the screams of a dozen dying men welcomed it into the void and the smell of rotting corpses offered it sanctuary. As Cthulu emerged, I stood small and unwavering in its presence. It towered over me, engulfing my ship in its shadow, yet I let out a scream of victory. My sword cut through the air above and plunged deep into its still beating heart, throwing the creature back from whence it came. My ship, nearly sunken, gave way completely below me and wrecked upon the shores of fate itself. I did not drown because I guess I’m just built different.
After all these years, and all these lifetimes of experiences, I am immortal until proven mortal. I didn’t drown on the Titanic, I didn’t burn in Pompeii or in Salem, and I don’t have a male pattern baldness. I’ve broken glass with my bare hands, stared down a god, and raced the devil backwards. I’ve passed through New Jersey and lived to survive a stabbing. As President of the United States, I’d never get assassinated for I would simply choose not to. I’ve shed blood, tears, and sweat, but never mine. I hear laughter in the darkness and I answer with a joke. I guess I’m just built different.