2001

A small, tiny story:

I was born in a hospital, wrapped in blankets with a tiny hat to match. I was held for the first time by my father. He watched as I stretched and wiggled and took notice of this world. 

I was born without a name, and it took the first three days of my life to be given one. I was known at the hospital as Baby Ellison, and when I broke my arm at twelve and came back for the first time, I was still known as Baby Ellison. 

I was born in Massachusetts—a state I would, for a long time, not know how to spell. A state I would call my home. 

I was born as my sister sat in her fourth-grade classroom and announced: “My little sister is being born right now.” 

Ten years later, I would sit in the same classroom with the same teacher who’d tell me: “I remember when you were born!” 

I was born at the beginning of 2001–the early days of a new century. I was born just before planes hit buildings and people watched movies on DVDs. I was born during a time called “the early two-thousands.” A time before smartphones, and a time of great music. 

Many things happened before me, and many more things will happen after me. I am merely a blimp floating by, a number in a population, a human being just like every other. 

I am eager and sometimes rude. I hurt those I care about, even if I don’t intend to. I hold grudges and get bruises, I burn bridges and revel in the fire. 

I put others on a pedestal, and watch as they wave down at me. I hold my place in line using my body and wonder if anyone is annoyed by me. I hide in a closet and hope no one will ever find me. 

But one day I was born and my grandfather helped bring me home. He told my mother to sit down and took me from her grasp. I was born with no bruises and no mistakes. A perfect and clean-cut beginning. 

I was born with the desire to be older, to be closer. For everything to make sense. I was born craving responsibility but cursed with fear.  

I was born afraid of the dark. I was born afraid of spiders; ants and fish that could nip at my toes. 

I was born when my grandmother was alive. And I was secretly named long before I was born when she told my mother a name she would give to a daughter. 

I was born around kittens and birds; a red shed and a rotting treehouse. I was born in blueberry bushes, log cabins, and green hammocks. I was born early in the morning. But I grew up at night. 

I was born in love, and I live inside that love every day; I give love when I can, and keep enough for myself. I create pedestals in my mind, and place versions of myself on them, clamoring my way up, up, and up. 

I was born, and then one day, I lived. 

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