“When you’re happy and you know it, wag your tail!” my students sang at me, not entirely in jest. Waking up one day with a tail hasn’t been exactly the worst thing for me, you know. Everybody *does* know when I’m happy. It’s like sunshine beaming out of my ass.
Everybody wants to touch my tail: Sometimes I like it; sometimes I don’t. My students, for example, are strictly restricted from touching. Me, themselves, each other, anything. They sit as if wearing straight jackets. Afraid of their own fear. One kid got so spooked one day, he held his breath until he toppled right over.
I’m an anomaly, except for the birds who now can speak with human voices and the flowers that’ve grown faces. Every day something new happens with each rotation of the sun. We go to bed hopped up on anticipation at what new freak the next day will bring. But so far, I’m still the only partly-metamorphosed human on the planet.
What’s that? What’s my tail like? Well, it’s a big fluffy one, like that of an Alsatian or a Husky. I need to keep it perfectly groomed. Thank goodness my barber is still happy to do it. But, then again, he’s going a bit blind. As long as I sit with my tush in the air, he’s happy to trim it by touch. One of his apprentices says he’d like to shape it into a faux-hawk.
My only real complaint is that I had to put a custom-made seat in my car; otherwise, I had to tuck my tail to the side before I sat down. Try doing that with one of your dogs. Some people like to argue whether or not I’m disabled. I say NOT because I can dance just fine and bar stools work like a charm: They are just not the appropriate sitting-equipment for every occasion. That said, I am acquiring a fine collection of cocktail napkins.
And for those of you who are wondering: Cutting a hole in all my bottom wear was the easy part.
Just in case you think everything is peachy-keen, I have yet to find someone who really understands me. I spend entirely too much time arguing with the flowers who is better: Optimus Prime or Bumblebee. I won’t turn on the TV if I know any of the X-Men movies are playing. They just make me sad.
I dream that one day I’ll meet a special person, someone who’ll have a tail, too. Someone who has me knocking over table lamps. There’ll be none of those guessing games. People like us just can’t fake it.
Barbara McVeigh is a Canadian writer and teacher-librarian. Her stories have appeared in formercactus, The Ginger Collect and Funicular Magazine. Connect with her on Twitter @barbaramcveigh.