I have a strange obsession with things that creep me out. In my spare time, I research deadly diseases and devour accounts of 'real' ghosts--preferably local ones. I ponder what life might look like from the perspective of a spider, and make I horrible faces at myself in the mirror, hoping to happen upon the one that makes me look like I have been possessed by a demon. I glance at people and wonder what they would look like without their skin. This is not to say that I want to meet someone with a deadly disease, encounter a ghost, see the arachnids-eye(s) view of the world, witness a demon possession, or see someone without their skin. There is just something exhilarating about the mere idea of something so terrible, as long as it is imagined while safe at home as the night closes in.
This morbid obsession is why, on nice, sunny days, a peculiar chill sometimes comes over me and I have the compulsion to search for a cemetery. On such occasions, I get out my cheap, battered mp3 player, leave a note, and set off on my adventure.
There are several graveyards in this old pioneer town that I call home, and I have explored, or at least found, most of them. But, to my understanding, there is one that I have never discovered. I have heard it mentioned more than once, and have seen its location on a not-to-scale tourist map, so I know its approximate coordinates. It should be within walking distance of my house. The problem is, I haven't found it yet, and it bothers me to no end.
I would probably have more luck if I strayed from the streets with which I am familiar, but that area makes me a bit nervous. I doubt I would get lost, but I might happen on one of our local weirdos before finding the cemetery.
While I haven't yet found the cemetery, I have found a pleasant little park that I had never seen before. It has a nice, sloping lawn and a playground set. When first I discovered it, I thought about sitting down in the grass and staying a while, but my mp3 player was nearly out of batteries and I had become quite engrossed in the story, so I started home instead. Anyway, for some reason, my listening material (Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles) didn't quite fit with the cheerful scenery and the sight of small, happy children.
* * *
At the beginning of junior year, a classmate recruited me to join our school's robotics team. I agreed because a.) I have always been interested in robots, although I know very little about them and b.) I have difficulties declining invitations.
I was the only participant with two X chromosomes.
I lasted until about November. I managed to wriggle my way out by telling them that I had a very busy schedule, an excuse aided by the fact that they had nearly always managed to schedule meetings at times that I couldn't make it. My real reasons were more complex, however: I did not really want to fundraise, it was kind of awkward being the only girl-nerd amongst all of the boy-nerds, and, most importantly, I had no frickin' idea how to make a robot.