You don’t know what its like not knowing what you are.
When I was six I had so many questions. Nobody would give me any answers. I had to learn how to read on my own because maybe books could give the answers. But they wouldn't. What was I? I would see a poster of John Travolta at the cinema and I knew that I wanted to marry him. But I would see no such thing around me. I would ask everyone. My parents and my brothers. Even my teacher when I finally went to school. No one would offer any answers. No one spoke of such things. I realized when I was just a child that I was utterly alone. When I was seven i decided I was the only different human in the whole wide earth. I decided I would be alone forever.
I didn't know if I wanted to live like that. But I wanted to live. I really liked life. I learned how to read English on my own. And I would go to libraries and bookstores and I would ask for books that spoke of men who loved men, and people would stare at me and still they wouldn't answer. A priest exorcised me. He said I spoke of weird things and that no child so young could learn several languages on its own. That I was a wild thing that wouldn't wear shoes and got into fights. They wanted to get the Devil out of me. But I knew they just wanted to get me out of me.
You don’t know whats it’s like to be the only one who’s different in the world.
Nothing was solid. Nothing. Music, books, my thoughts, concepts. They all felt like water. Liquid matter that didn't make any sense to me. All the world had to offer would get inside my mouth and inside my nostrils, my eyes and ears and I would feel like drowning. The world would drown me. Because I couldn't see my self in it. And I would hide beneath my bed and cry my eyes out, and I wished I would die in my sleep without any pain, because every new day that dawned reminded me that I did not exist.
You don’t know whats its like to be a child that wants wholeheartedly to die.
I was eight when my brothers took me to the records store and thats where I saw her for the first time. She was weird. Unusual. Barefoot like me. My brothers bought me the record. Cyndi Lauper was my first anchor to the world. She wasn't just some voice singing songs. She was my first friend. I would ask her things and she would answer from within her lyrics. There were other people like me. Weird. Different. Barefoot. I wasn't alone. I stopped sinking. I got to the surface and took a deep breath. It wasn't much. But it was a start. I started feeling the pain of other kids at my school. It called out to me.
And Cyndi would smile and hang out with me. Not long after that, I found out what I was. And as I was sitting listening to her music my beautiful, unusual imaginary friend came to me for one last time to say goodbye. She said that it was time to find my own words for the world. For my life. She waved and she giggled and then she was gone. I was not alone anymore. I had friends. And my own voice. She had other people to help besides me.
And I still know that if I fall she will catch me. She’ll be waiting.