The Girl With The Tail For Coping
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Politics and Activism

The Girl With The Tail For Coping

MEDICAL - a short story

The Girl With The Tail For Coping

I didn't see it at first, I really didn't notice.

I didn't even feel the strangeness of it. I just happened to be trying on jeans when I looked in the mirror and there it was.

It's not something I bring up upon meeting new people, nothing like, “Hello, my name is Ahmie and I have recently grown a tail.” because where does a conversation like that go? “Do you want to see it?”

At first I welcomed it, I felt honored to receive such a strange, unnatural gift. I was a mutant, like an x-men, which is not funny at all. Because I was awake until 3am the first night I found it, wondering what my super hero name should be. While laying on my side in the quietness of night, I pet my tail for hours. Just learning the softness of it, the curve of it. I decided to not call myself Cat Woman, because obviously, that was already taken. I couldn't call myself kitten, because what would people think of me with a name like that?

At school I had to tuck the tail up in my shirt. That tail was long enough to shove under my bra straps, but I wore oversized sweatshirts anyways so the kids wouldn't see the roundness of it and ask me weird questions like why I have a cats tail. Because my answer is; I just don't know.

I would ask back, “Why is the sky blue?”

“Because God made it blue. Did God give you a tail?” they would answer.

I would tell them, “Shut up. You know nothing.”

No one but Dad and I know that God isn't real. Dad tries to convince Mom all the time that God isn't real, but she doesn't listen to him. Instead she makes a fool out of herself, shrieking about crosses and judgement day, next to a hundred other people shrieking about crosses and judgement day. None of them know. They are all wailing and crying for God and whispering promises. They are all too busy spreading “Gods word is good” posters and trying to repopulate the congregation. No one but Dad and I know that God isn't real, and I know, because Dad would never lie to me.

I must confess, not everyone was as thrilled as I was when they discovered I grew a tail. When I told my mother, she made a noise like a dying humming bird, then fainted on our fake linoleum flouring. I tried to break it to her gently, I really did, but as soon as she saw it, BOOM! When she woke up and saw that the tail was truly still attached, she insisted on a therapist; not for her, but for me. Her daughter, the freak with a tail. As if a therapist is going to send it back to wherever it grew from, and besides, I didn't want it gone.

I agreed to see a therapist out of respect for my mother; Dr. Feline as I came to understand. Her office smelled of hot breathe and had a weird musk that weighed the room. Her patient room was small, very tiny, not closet size, but still chocked you a little. Dr. Feline sat in a recliner seat, and I across from her on a sticky leather couch. She wears too much makeup and no lipstick. This is because she is always smacking her lips together in the way Daddies rub their muscular hands.

The first time I met her, Dr. Feline didn't ask me about my tail: she didn't even stare at it, which I liked. She wanted to know about my Mother, and my Father, and about my twin siblings Jillian and Jeff. I started to tell her about a vacation we took when I was 8 months old, but Dr. Feline fell asleep in that recliner seat. I would imagine I would have slept to, the story was mostly goo's and ga's anyways, I mean, what else can an 8 month old say?

I didn't want to wake her, so I walked around the room. She kept a candy jar, and I helped myself to a few. The office had two tiny windows, enough to let in light if she chose to, but she kept them closed with thick purple curtains. The only light came from the scorching halogen lamp next to the sticky leather couch. I saw cat figurines spread along the bookshelves and picture after picture of little furry creatures. Dr. Feline liked cats, some may say obsessed, really. I found this annoying, because I liked Dr. Feline, well, I wanted to like Dr. Feline, but then she had to go and like cats. I can't associate myself with people who like cats. I'm more of a dog person. I did have a cat once, and it died, and I wasn't sad, and that's how I found I liked dogs and hated cats. Because dogs live longer. Dogs don't leave you.

When Dr. Feline didn't wake up, I left her office. Dad was supposed to pick me up, but he didn't show and I walked home by myself. I didn't mind this time alone, it felt refreshing, I was off the grid. I could walk anywhere I wanted, do anything when I got there. I appreciated the heart-clogging summer air a little more, I saw the graffiti on tall building walls in ablaze color.

Mom didn't like that. When my father came home later that night smelling of fine cuban cigars and gin, Mom became a gorilla. They argued for a long time. I violate their private conversations and listen in my bedroom, petting my tail and loving the softness of it. I love petting that tail more and more each time I do it. When my parent's argument shifts to more than him forgetting me at therapy, I stop listening. Same arguments, a different night.

I don't have many friends, not even a handful. So, I decided to put mine and Dr. Felines differences aside, and continue to schedule meetings, mostly because I like talking to Dr. Feline and I felt that we could become good friends. I also saw Dr. Feline to get mom off my tail.

The problem though, is that today Dr. Feline is asking me to talk about my tail, which is a topic I don't want to talk about. Not because I don't enjoy my tail, because I love my tail, but because I am very upset at the origin of my tail. I have yet to understand my super-human mutant x-woman powers, and it upsets me greatly. So I lie to Dr. Feline. I tell her this lie about how I got stuck in the elevator with 10 other people today on my way up to her office. She said it was a strange story, because for what she knew, the elevator worked fine, but I told her no, it really was not fine. Because we got stuck, these 10 people and I, and I don't like small spaces, because I know, I just know there is one cat person in every crowd. And I have told Dr. Feline before, I can not associate with cat people. Well, when the elevator had stopped, it got really quite, no one talked, so I asked who liked cats and who liked dogs, and do you know what they told me? They said they all loved cats more than dogs and It made me very upset, so I sat in the corner with my knees to my chest, because it made me nervous to be surrounded by all cat associates, and the worst part of all was that they wouldn't sit still, they all moved around the elevator, just kept walking and stomping, and every now and then someone would step on my tail, and I liked that a lot less.

Dr. Feline sent me home early that day, she said something about how my lack of participation was a waste of time. I should come back when I am ready to communicate with her.

I tried to call my father to pick me up, but I was early and he wasn't answering, so I walked home by myself again. I stopped at the old middle school playground down the street from my house because I had some time to kill. I could have stayed there forever, on the wooden swing. I felt as if I was flying, the wind beneath me, the exhilaration and the possibility of falling and dyeing, until my tail fell out of my bra strap and I had to jump off the swing to save anyone who might be watching from seeing it.

I walked a little slower than normal back to the house, it just felt so stuffy in their lately, the twins wailing and Mom and Dad arguing, and me in my room, petting my tail. That was every night. Wailing. Fighting. Tail. That was my new life, and it felt so stuffy. It felt too calm, actually. I couldn't remember the times without the twins, and Mom and Dad have always argued, it just seems like it's more and more lately.

Dad took the blame again, and Mom went gorilla again, and the twins were yelling at me to rewind the Wiggles movie to their favorite parts, again. It was in moments like these that I didn't think about my tail, It didn't even cross my mind... I had almost forgotten it.

I tell Dr. Feline that this isn't my first time on the crazy train, as my mother calls it. Thats right, i've had many, um, unexplained incidents happen. One time when I was to perform as Lady Macbeth in the middle school play, I woke up with no nose. It sounds strange, but it's true, I looked in the mirror and BOOM! Noseless. I looked like the man from that movie who should not be named. Its okay though, my nose grew back after the first act, it's okay.

This other time, when Chadwick Lawton broke up with me after a whole month of being my boyfriend, I literally cried my eyes out. For real. I couldn't see for a whole week, I placed a blindfold over my eyes so that people didn't stare at my foggy-sick glazed eyes that used to be blue. A week with no eyes, and then POOF! I could see again. Just like that.

My tail is different.

I remember the police who came to the door. Mom wasn't home because she leaves early to get ahead on her cleaning chores, and the twins were sound asleep up in their beds. The officers took out their white Diner pads, and dad was dead; poisoned, shot in the head, shot three times in the ass, bludgeoned, castrated, and thrown in the river. The cause of death was drowning. Mom said it was beautiful and sunny that morning.

How do I feel about this? You are asking the girl with the tail?

I didn't know how to feel, I didn't cry, I felt sad but didn't cry. And I felt bad that I didn't cry, because shouldn't one cry after ones father dies? Maybe. But this was my Dad, and I didn't cry. I think Dad would have wanted it that way. I can't really be angry at God, because he isn't real. Dad wouldn't lie to me. He was a good man, my Dad. Sure, a man filled with Gin up to his ears, but a good man.

I waited up for my Mom, I sat her down on the couch and repeated what the cops had read from their diner pads, and she didn't cry either. She had a face of stone as far as I could tell, and when she stopped being quite, she turned to me and said, “Oh, but honey. It was such a beautiful day of sunshine.” then left me in the living room to pick up her purse, and children's toys, and then I cried. I cried like a baby, because I realized in that moment their was no more stuffiness. Someone had opened a window, and a crisp air was violating my space. I cried because I didn't know what to do, I didn't know what to say, or think, and losing control like that, that is what made me cry. Then my crying got so that it woke the twins, and Mom was trying to sooth them back to dreams, and yelled at me for crying. I never told anyone but Dr. Feline why I really cried, but it included the words left behind.

I stopped seeing Dr. Feline for a long time, 5 weeks if I am correct. I didn't see her, because I didn't need her. With dad gone, no more fighting or stuffiness, the tail wasn't beautiful, it was a hideous deformity. How could I love my tail? The longness of it, the not so subtleness of it... I no longer wanted it. I needed it gone. So I hatched a plan to get rid of my tail, a devious plan, sure-proof to work. My plan was so malicious, so conniving I just couldn't stand it! I used my entire genius to birth this plan, and it was of epic scale.

I would fall asleep – I would wake up – The tail would be gone.

That was my plan! Genius! If all those other times I just awoke with a weird x-man gene, I could certainly just the same wake up with out it.

So that night I did it, I went to bed early and everything. The twins weren't even asleep already, and Mom was working overtime to make up for the lack of income. I thought of how awesome Mom would think I am without my tail. She would be so glad to see that is was gone. I couldn't let her down!

Well, I know you aren't surprised to hear that it didn't work out. I woke up so happy, so excited that my tail was gone, but when I reached behind me to stroke it, I did just that. It wasn't gone, not at all, and in fact, it had grown twice as large!! I was so disappointed. I really had faith in my genius plan. And in that moment, I wanted to cry all over again. I just wanted to cry over a bridge and make a river of tears and throw myself over it and drown like Dad. Because in that moment is when I thought the most devious thing of all, what if God is as real as my tail? What then?

I needed a new plan. I would cut it off, leave nothing but a bloody nub at the center of my mutant guest. I would destroy it once and for all.

So I bought a hatchet at the hardware store next to Dad's old office the next day, and I went home and shut the blinds in my room. I turned on ear-exploding music and I turned my phone off. I locked the door and I laid out sheet after sheet so there would be no mess to clean up. I decided the best way was to sit on the sheets in front of my mirror, all my weight on my right side, looking down towards my left, towards my tail, and just chop it off.

Trust me, I had full intentions to just chop that hogger or a thing off. But there was only one small problem. I couldn't do it. You see, people say that cats can't feel their tails, that the tails movement is an involuntary gesture. I just don't agree with that. I can feel everything in my tail. I can wiggle it. I could argue that it is the most sensitive place on my body. So when I looked at myself in that full length mirror, hatchet-hand and murder-faced looking at my tail like a piece of meat, I couldn't chop it. I just couldn't, now lets leave it at that.

I needed my tail gone though, so I was back to the drawing board of ways to murder my tail.

I thought of burning it, I could soak it in gasoline and set it on fire. What a pretty way to go! But I don't think I could bring myself to do that either. I thought maybe if I tied it to a piece of yarn and tugged real hard, it would just detach itself from my body, much like loosing your teeth. Although, I don't think they have a tail fairy who comes and collects recently detached mutant tails. But if they do, let me know, because that would be awesome!

I finally came to a decision, the one that I landed on at random. I would take pills and go into a deep coma. While in my coma, I would see God or whoever exists and I would ask them to take the tail. To just please take the tail away from me. I wasn't worthy of having such a gift. I'd play it up real nice, tell them all the reasons why I wasn't worthy. They had to believe me. I would make my case so unbelievably believable that they just had to take the tai away. They would feel honored to take the tail away.

I did just that. 42 pills later, no coma, full tail, and disappointed.

The last session I had with Dr. Feline was a year ago. She said it was to be our last session, and she diagnosed me. When I asked her what a diagnoses was, she laughed at me. Told me that's what all our sessions were goal-ing for, a clear diagnoses. Schizophrenia and Athazagoraphobia. A fear of being left behind/ignored, and an inability to tell real from the imaginary. Since then I have come to realize that Dr. Feline wasn't my friend at all, she was just playing a part. She says I am the one with a diagnoses? I diagnose her as a big-fat-cat-lover-who-pretends-to-be-friends-with-her-patients-so-she-can-send-them-to-psych-wards-and-call-it-a-career.

So now I am here, within these four walls, writing to all of you who are watching from glass windows and yellow professional legal pads, or maybe you are writing on puke white diner pads.

I want to say, for the records, that God is still so not real. They said I flatlined twice in the ambulance, so I would have seen God if I had died, and I did die, twice, and no God.

I want to say for the record, that I am not suicidal... I just didn't love my tail anymore.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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