Trifecta – The Freak (Life’s Rich Tapestry)

They said she was a freak. They had no idea.
When she was a baby, the doctors had shaken their heads and told her distraught mother that the tiny, unresponsive bundle she called Zoe would never be ‘normal’.
And all through her childhood, it became more and more apparent that they were right. Other children laughed and played; Zoe never smiled, and spent her playtime organizing and arranging things into order – alphabetical, colour, size… People looked at her oddly. Zoe was always going to be the weirdo.
But there was one good thing. She was insanely good at anything she put her mind to. By the age of two, she could read and write. By the age of five, she knew that you should not split infinitives unless not splitting them made the sentence clunky. By the age of seven, she was reading Jane Austen and Tennyson, and found it quietly amusing that people called her ‘precocious’ without realizing that she knew what it meant.
By the age of twelve, she was completing frequency graphs and solving equations in her head.
She was sixteen when she finally smiled. That was when she discovered the exquisite irony of the fact that people called her ‘pedantic’ when in reality, the word applied just as much to themselves. Because they were. Pedantic, ordinary, trapped inside their tiny, mediocre worlds. They could not see the beauty of order and the mathematical spectrum of the world, every bit as breathtaking as the rainbow of colour. They could not hear sequences, see patterns, solve problems with the spark of a synapse. It was really quite sad.
But she laughed anyway.

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21 thoughts on “Trifecta – The Freak (Life’s Rich Tapestry)

  1. I really like this. I wonder how much of this is experienced by autistics and savants. Perhaps they hear sequences and see mathematics as a spectrum of colors. People often are quick to see others as pedantic without a clear understanding of how others experience the world. This was very well written. Kudos!

    1. Thank you 🙂 I identify a lot with people like this. Everyone sees the world slightly differently, but some see it so differently that they are considered weird. Which is unfair. Because certain of those who see the world differently and make a loud enough noise about it are hailed as wonders of the world, and their unique perspective is recognized as genius. But so many others have been locked up or drugged or mocked or just ignored….

  2. Great use of the word. And I love your response to the comment. You’re so right. Those considered ‘different’ are often ostracized simply because we don’t understand them. But they understand us quite well.

    1. Thank you 🙂 yes, we are a funny bunch aren’t we? Our views on things seem to be almost arbitrary. One man’s meat is another man’s poison, I suppose. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  3. “They could not hear sequences, see patterns, solve problems with the spark of a synapse.” I love that sentence. And I like Zoe too. 🙂

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