When I Knew I Was Different

For me, it was around the 6th grade. I don’t know how old I was, back then I just figured it by what grade I was in. I can remember talking with my four BFFs (none of who I know at all now). (I guess forever is one of those terms with different meanings.)


I had always read books that most of my friends, forever or not, didn’t read. Why? Well, Dad belonged to the science fiction book club from the very beginnings. So, I grew up reading the classic authors of the 1950s and on. Then my big bro brought home some fantasy/adventure books. Books a step further into fantasy than the Edgar Rice Burroughs I was reading.

Big bro is ten years my senior and explored genres Dad wasn’t quite into. And he would shop. He brought home the first Michael Moorcock I ever read.

Man, I loved Elric, that albino doomed prince of Melinboné. And his sidekick, Moonglum.

I really loved the entire idea of multiple universes and alternative realities, a topic Moorcock explores with his Eternal Champion books.

Anyway, back to the four BFFs… I wanted to talk about this idea of alternate realities. “You know, in one universe you make one decision, in another you make a different decision and everything changes and they are parallel and close to each other and maybe they can cross sometimes and…

Blank stares. Head shakes. I think one of them may have made a finger gesture meant to ward off evil. (It was a Catholic school.)

That was the day I knew I was different. And we never spoke of it again. I went on watching the television shows with my family – all those wonderful scifi shows that Irwin Allen was involved with. And there was Star Trek and Night Gallery and Outer Limits and The Twilight Zone and… You get the gist. We were a scifi/fantasy sort of household.

And I kept reading Moorcock and Fritz Lieber and every book of fantastic adventure I could get hold of. Mostly courtesy of my big bro until I had the money of my own and could get to the bookstores. Sometimes the library.

My BFFs? Well, one went on to eventually write news for Fox. Another became a nurse. Another…well, I don’t know where she is.

Me? I write. You know, fantasy/adventure/romance/paranormal. (Big bro brought home Vampirella comic books, too. You know, maybe I owe the guy some credit for my writing. Though the only comments he’s made to me about my writing so far was something to effect of my writing porn. (He has a hard time with his little sister writing about sex.)) 😉

What about you? When did you know you were different? Or maybe you aren’t…when did you figure out you weren’t?

 BTW – the clutter is winning…


  1. I knew I was different by the time I was 11. By then I had come to realize why all the adults always laughed when I started a sentence with, “When I was young…” I had been using that phrase already for about 2 years.

    The combination of foreign influence (my father coming from France where there were differences in what was acceptable in the ways of humor, drink, and innuendo) and growing up closely with 14 boys (only 2 were brothers) who were about 4 years older than I, made for a precocious childhood.

    I still feel that I had enough life experience at even that young age to have been using the phrase properly.

    BTW – Clutter is the sign of a person who has more important fish to fry.

  2. I like the idea of more important fish to fry…

    I think every kid experiences that epiphany of realising they don’t quite fit in. For some, it’s lightning swift and they immediately change themselve to fit. For others, it’s about raising the freak flag even higher and embracing the different.

    I fit into the middle somewhere.

    Wow, 14 boys?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *