` I will admit, mad scientists don't have much of a social life. Additionally, I was practically born and raised in a cave. Nevertheless, I somehow managed to have two good friends as a kid.
` For a while, anyway....
` Tina LaFerrier was the wacky redheaded girl in my first grade class at Sydney Fenn Elementary - which was a block away from my house. She was the only person I'd ever really related to at that age, as we both had something in common - hyperactiveness and much silliness.
` Though my desk had been permanently moved into the corner, we got to spend all of lunch and recess together making up weird games and a fake 'language', in which we had pretended to understand one another. That asserted our weirdness status, which we were proud of, though some kids - such as Kourtney Porter - approved of this weirdness by occasionally speaking in 'Mahic' with us.
` Plus, she was much bigger than I was, and therefore capable of defending me from kids who wanted to beat me up, pull large chunks of my hair out, etc.
` I'd never had anyone like that around before!
` The only time I'd ever seen Tina outside of school was to go to the only birthday party I'd ever been invited to - hers! I was even impressed merely with the concept of having friends at birthday parties. (Which I never did get to have.) On top of that, I thought it was awesome that her parakeet told us to 'be quiet!' when we were too loud.
` Unfortunately, the last time I ever ran into her was in the next school year, which was when she told me she'd been moved up a few grades.
` It really meant a lot to me: Most kids through my childhood, however, typically pelted me with insults, fruit, golfing putters, and worst of all, a noxious, foaming and very sticky fluid that goes by the benign-sounding name of Pepsi.
` Most adults tended to be quite abusive or misunderstanding, not the least of which was my dad - whom I've already ranted about a little. And when I'd tell him about the extensive manhandling I endured by the aides - being dragged down stairs by the arms or while in a laundry bag, for example - he'd tell me how 'stupid' and 'wrong' they were for doing that.
` It is no surprise that I had no respect for the adults in school, which resulted in my permanent expulsion.
` From ages 12 through 18, I spent my weekdays locked up while my parents were at work, so few people my age got a chance to despise me.
` ...At least if you don't count the fact that I sometimes overheard complete strangers from public schools making fun of me because they didn't understand why I was running around the neighborhood with strange instruments, taking measurements of what they referred to as "nothing".
` Didn't they learn these things in a little convention I never did take part in known as 'science class'?
` Other than that, I tended to stay away from teenagers who went to public schools. Honest - my first experiences with them taught me that they were both dangerous and unpredictable! For example, as a 5'8" twelve-year-old, I was attacked by some random little fourteen-year-old at a swimming pool just because I didn't need to wear a bra. (And I still don't.)
` I have no idea who she was, but I remember her saying; "I know a joke that'll knock your tits off! Oh, wait! Looks like you've already heard it!"
` I replied in my typically confused demeanor; "...so? What's wrong with that?"
` Luckily, my other good friend was with me and she pulled me away before anything bad could happen.
` I met Alyssa Birch in a home schooler's meeting, despite the fact that I wasn't exactly being schooled at home. She was pretty neat to hang out with - we made up hilarious and stupid stories, took art classes together and even went 'camping' with the other home schoolers in huge cabins.
` Unfortunately, her mom was both crazy and menopausal - meaning mental instability coupled with huge mood swings. After about six months or so, she wouldn't let us even talk to each other on the phone anymore! Perhaps she thought I was a bad influence or something because we thought that playing 'gay tag' (Alyssa's idea!) was absolutely uproarious.
` Who knows? But I'll never forget someone as cool as her.
` Besides meeting Alyssa Birch, there are other reasons I'm glad I didn't go to public school: Even though most of my school day was comprised of screaming at video cameras I thought had been installed to monitor my behavior (due to my dad's mental manipulation skills), I really don't think I could have tolerated facing a day's worth of being picked on.
` My most close-up experience with such people was the time I had to take driving school with a bunch of high school students - many of whom had a tendency to make fun of me for my poor classroom skills. I was also mocked and laughed at when they didn't believe my explanation of why I didn't go to public school.
` On top of that, I couldn't believe how immature some of them were being - the ones in the back row were so rowdy that more than once our instructor put chairs outside the window and made them sit there.
` I can't say I know much about friends, really. Only that they're hard to come by and fun to be around. Thankfully, I do have a few more good friends nowadays, though they don't live close enough to get to by car.
` Far from letting that get me down, I actually use all my would-be hanging-out-time for scheming and plotting and carrying out my convoluted experiments. Nothing too interesting, yet, though.
` As for boys, now... I never really did get around to kissing one, much less anything else. And I'm almost twenty-four!
` I know that may be hard to believe, but the only guys who like me seem to be the gross ones whose cooties are incompatible with mine!