Beast

I was always that kid. You know, the one who, at five years old would consider the other children stupid because they couldn’t stand still during dance class. I’d roll my eyes and have conversations with grown ups. “Strange kid,” they’d say.

The kid who would practice day and night for perfection, stuck up swagger, frustrated and quitting when the class could never keep up.

Socializing was an excercise in frustration. Screw those kids who couldn’t sit still, didn’t try hard, had no discipline. I couldn’t understand them. I was always a monster, on the attack from the start. My version of playing was working.

In the spelling bee I took the trophy, in karate I took down kids twice my size. In dance they took me down the hill to the studios in Hollywood, because I had outgrown what my small town could offer.

I am not particularly brilliant, coordinated, or talented. The term “gifted” really belongs to my brother. I was none of those things, but what I have always been is an attacking, relentless beast.

My mom always says I was born smoking a cigar and barking orders. My preschool said I’d grow up to be an activities director on a cruise ship, organizing everybody and telling them what to do.

“Fools!” I thought, four years old and laughing. I’ll own the fucking boat.

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