Did you know I can make origami with my ears?
Nothing fancy like one of those good luck cranes or a cherry blossom. But apparently my ears contain so much elastin that I can fold them three times into a tiny-sixth of their normal size. The end result is a triangle nub of cartilage protruding grotesquely from where the ear hole should be. If that isn’t natural talent, I don’t know what is.
I’m not even sure when, or how, I realized I had this ability. I do, however, know that if I were an “X-man” and this were my superpower, my mutant name would probably be something like Tragus. Which sounds entirely mysterious and terrifying until you look up what tragus means.
OOOOOoooooooo…scary. Whatever, I would still totally takeover Gotham.
In all seriousness though, I haven’t always been particularly proud of my cranial appendages. I’ve been ridiculed for the size of my ears since the times of my earliest memories–and probably even before then. I’d like to say that this never affected my self-esteem, but that would be a lie. It took about 15 years to outgrow most of the insecurities that my childhood bullies instilled in me, however, I sometimes still find myself in front of my bathroom mirror, fantasizing about having more average ears. Through years of experimentation, I’ve mastered the art of pinning them back into the perfect positions. I then pretend that I am well-off enough to purchase these $5000 ear modifiers from Europe that I’ve been writing to Santa about. But Santa is a jerk. He never delivered my magical powers when I was ten, and my ears are still big enough to allow me to glide from New York to San Fran. It’s cheaper than flying.
Well, I guess I could afford the ear modifiers myself. They’re essentially just braces for your ears. Yea! Alas, I find myself unable to spend the money and instead continue to stare at my reflection imagining the looks of adoration on my friends faces as they gaze upon my new and very narrow head. “Oh Philip, your ears are marvelous, where did you get them?” I’ll be asked. “France!” I’ll yell back at them excitedly as I twirl to give a 360 degree view. I’ll then prance with my jealous friends down the street, no longer having to worry about a strong gust catching one of my ears like a sail and steering me off the sidewalk into oncoming traffic. What an obituary that would make…
I break from my trance as I realize how mortifying (eh not sure this is the right word, but something similar) it would be to have to explain to my friends and family why I felt the need to change my appearance so drastically. Just one mocking smile during my explanation is all it would take to demote me from the enigmatic Tragus into the shamefaced Rectangle Head. Ok, maybe not “Rectangle Head”, but a name equally as pitiful. That does not interest me. I’ll stick with my Dumbo wings and fly high above all the jokes until their effects are as insignificant as the people spouting them.