Friday, September 26, 2008

"Never Special," Introduction, pt. 2, 424 words

My name is Amanda Park. I’ve never been special.

***

I’d be lying if I said these powers didn’t have their advantages. It’s nice to no longer need a car to get anywhere in reasonable time, what with the price of gas these days. I don’t need to pay for taxis, subways – nothing. So at least it’s helped my budget some. And I never have problems with jar lids stuck on too tight… Though I have to be careful not to crush the jar. It’s no longer a problem that my door sticks in humid weather, and being a klutz doesn’t hurt anymore when I’m chopping stuff up for dinner.

But there’s still so much these powers don’t do for me. It’s not like I’m any more confident than I was before, it’s just displaced my anxieties onto something new. Powers don’t qualify me for any more jobs than I could’ve done before, and in fact disqualify me from some – despite what you may think, no police district wants the super-strong on payroll. Not when an angry punch, or even just an incautious finger-flick, can potentially be lethal force.

Vigilantism isn’t exactly an ideal career path for me, either. For one thing, fighting crime pays way too little to live on, even without competition. And with all the other powered people out there, flipping burgers would be a better use of my time. At least the income’s more stable. Going the other direction, committing crime, is just as pointless. I’d be another arrest for the first guy in a costume to swing by, put down in five minutes with a bunch of collateral damage added on to any punishment handed out to me by the courts, and then thrown in a cell designed to hold people like me.

Basically, go out and ask a random person what they think a person like me would be doing with their life. Now, throw whatever answer you get into the trash – it’s completely nonviable, because so many other people are already doing it. And given the limited scope of my powers, there’s not much else I can do with them.

But nobody wants to hear about that kind of stuff. C'mon, they say, stop whining. You've got powers! You've got what every kid dreams of! And really, that's true. I've managed to fulfill the dreams of childhood, entirely by accident. But they don't help me fulfill any of the dreams, plans, or goals I've had since childhood. Getting my childhood dreams fulfilled, I've found, has been pretty unfulfilling.

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