Childhood Powers

When I was ten I had special powers. In a platonic game of truth or dare between my cousin and myself, I was asked what my “deepest, darkest secret” was.

“Well,” I remember starting out, “I can control things with my mind. But don’t tell anyone!”

She just looked at me and we moved on to the next “truth” or “dare”; most likely truth because that’s what I always picked, and I didn’t have the sadist’s penchant for giving entertaining “dares”.

I could communicate mentally with animals, and by staring into their eyes, they could “feel” my thoughts.

One time, in a parking lot behind an apartment complex, a black cat stopped to look at me. I then proceeded to stare at it for several minutes while approaching it slowly, hoping to make it trust me with my mind.

As I got older, I fought off being controlled by demons whenever I had an evil thought, knowing they were the cause; though I assure you my thoughts were no more evil than any other twelve-year-old’s. My darkest thoughts were confined to fantasy images of gore, a phase I went through after drawing Stimpy with his head cut off and a gratuitous outpouring of blood. I think I just enjoyed drawing all the blood.

I was in my pool, trying to control the water with my hands, even telling my father that I was “talking to it”, whatever that meant. He just smiled as my mother did after I told her. Had they laughed at me, who knows how I would have turned out. They never mocked my over-active imagination or told me to shut up when at age five I would tell them endless stories about alien wars and horrible monsters.

It was Franny with whom I can most relate in Salinger’s Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters, who claimed that, at the age of four, she was able to fly around the room when no one was home, her proof being the dust on her fingers from touching the lightbulbs.


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