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THE WHITE PEACOCK
In a colorful world, a white peacock was born. He came out of one of the twelve pinkish eggs in the nest, along with the other eleven colorful chickens. Nobody noticed the difference, neither his brothers, nor his parents. He grew up with the others in the castle park. When they grew older, their tail feathers unfolded like fans in the sun, looking like stained glass. Only the white fan looked sterile, dreary, like a shadow.
Over time, matchless, without friends, the white peacock was walking alone, dragging his dull tail through the green wet grass. While the other peacocks were thinking of their families, their chickens, the white peacock was thinking of the world beyond the garden fence, of the strange creatures walking in the park. He was looking at them, curious, focused, attentive sometimes forgetting that he was just a white peacock, different from the other peacocks.
I was born paralyzed of both legs. I don’t know what others feel when they walk. I’ve been like this and to me it seems normal. As I am a disabled person, there is always somebody around me to help me get up, wash, go to school. I was surrounded by love and tolerance at school. But nobody went further to forget about my lifeless feet and to consider me a normal guy.
I was a precocious child. I learned to speak, to read and count early in my life. I learned to play the violin faster than the others did and I was the first in my class, regardless the subject. I was taken to school by car, they put me in the wheelchair and then I was on my own. It was kind of independence that I liked. I sat at a table in class, alone. I didn’t have a desk like the others. My table was next to the door to avoid using my wheelchair between the desks. I didn’t have a desk mate. I was alone.
I can’t say I had bad classmates; they were always nice with me. If they noticed something bothering me, they helped me even if I never asked them. They let me pass when I came and when I left. During the breaks, I didn’t leave my place, watching what was going around. Their games, their laughter, their jokes, teasing girls. I’ve never been talkative, not because I didn’t have what to say. I used to speak with them in my mind for hours. But something unknown, incomprehensible prevented me from starting a conversation.
I often wondered if my mind works differently from other people’s mind. Yes or no; sometimes yes, only references are different. Sometimes, no, because we can see life from different perspectives. When a boy thinks about his qualities as a sportsperson, I get silent. When I think of my appearance, it is the same. Maybe it’s painful. But in time, you stop looking at yourself; you don’t compare yourself with the others anymore; you stop complaining. You accept your fate even if you didn’t choose it. Others think of love as something physical, tangible, which for me it’s just a hopeless feeling, a strong, intense, deep feeling, similar to the feelings in love poems. Other guys have the courage to leave and conquer the world. I was afraid of leaving my limited world. [...]