I believe in Sasquatch, and in the Loch Ness Monster. This should be no surprise, and in itself, it doesn’t really make me weird–only quirky and awesome. All the cool kids believe in Nessie.
My beliefs are a tad different, however. Most people think that these creatures are out there, lurking, waiting to pop up once in a while and freak everybody out. That’s not really how it is, though.
See, I had a birthday a few months ago.
My parents threw me and my sister a party, because we were born kind of close together. There was a cake there, as you might imagine, and a bunch of candles on top. And some people were there, like my family and my husband, and they sang the birthday song, and my sister blew out the candles because her birthday is first.
This is where my birthday starts to get really, really stressful. They lit all the candles again, and it was my turn. All year long, I routinely think of amazing wishes to wish on my birthday, but the minute it’s my turn to wish them in front of the one cake that can fulfill all my wildest dreams, I forget them all. Just, poof. Right out of my head. I’m sure everyone else feels exactly like this on their birthdays.
(By the way, I am aware that I have a pretty good life when I stress out about what to wish for on my birthday. Anyway. That’s not the point of this.)
So there I am, freaking out, because the candles are flickering and melting all over the cake and, because they were already burnt for my sister, they’re really on a roll with the burning, and everybody is almost done singing “Happy Birthday” to me, and I don’t have a single thing that I want to wish. My mind is totally blank.
Everybody is looking at me. The seconds crawl by, and everybody’s voice sounds like that really deep, underwater slow voice that they use in movies when stuff is in slow motion. Everybody is like, “Cooooomme ooooonnnn, Liiiiiisssaaaa. Blow out the caaaaaaandddddlllessss.” My hands start to sweat, and my mouth gets dry as I try desperately to think of any wish that is even slightly worthy of being a Birthday Wish.
I panicked. I blurted out the first thing that I could think of. And by “blurted out,” of course I mean that I yelled it very loudly inside my head, because you can’t say a wish out loud, and everybody knows that. As soon as I wished it, I realized just how terrible and how brilliant it really was.
I did everything right for the rest of the night. I didn’t tell anyone what I had wished for, was very excited about all my presents, ate a bunch of cake and ice cream, and probably ended the night running around the living room laughing hysterically at nothing. I don’t actually remember the end of the night, but this probably isn’t far from the truth.
But once we got home, something strange started to happen. I am not making this up. I began to get very, very sleepy. On the one hand, it could have been because it was about 11:30 at night and because of all the excitement from my party (you know, this could be the story of a five-year-old’s birthday party, if you think about it), but that was not it. It was the beginning of my wish. I got into bed and fell fast asleep.
When I opened my eyes, I was underwater. I was swimming through a murky lake. I was heavy and slippery. Light shone through the surface of the lake, and I swam toward it.
I poked my head out of the water while my arms flapped away under the surface to keep me afloat. But I pulled my head farther and farther out of the water until I was high above the surface. I looked down at the water and saw myself.
I was long, and I was beautiful. I was Nessie.
I woke up the next morning, as a human, and I knew the truth. That was no dream. My birthday wish had come true.
I don’t know who the first one was to do it, but I really believe that Nessie and Bigfoot are being kept alive by birthday wishes. Of course, almost no one ever wishes this wish, and even when they do, the effects don’t last long, so duh, no wonder so many people don’t believe. It’s just that they exist, but not all the time. Only when desperate birthday wishers scream wildly in their head, “I wish I was a mythical creature!” do they reappear as furry Bigfoots in the forests of America or as graceful Nessies in the lochs of Scotland.
So I feel like I’ve done my part to preserve the future of these rare beings. You have a lot of birthday wishes in your future. Use one to keep Nessie alive, people.