You wake up and throw off your Goosebumps sheets.
You brush your teeth and take a shower.
You get dressed in a simple t-shirt and jeans.
You drink your chocolate milk and eat your Crunchberry cereal.
You give your creation a once-over:
It’s a tricorner hat made from newspaper,
With curved appendages made from continuous form paper,
With yarn flowing down the back,
And a big horn on the front, spray-painted gold.
It’s a masterpiece.
You can’t quite remember if your idea was to look like a cross between a pirate captain and a unicorn, but you certainly pulled it off anyway.
You strap on your backpack and your mom snaps a picture.
You ride the bus to school, not even registering the odd glances given to you by the other children.
You get to your first-grade classroom and Mrs. Dirk says “Lookin’ good!” She gives you a thumbs up. She herself is wearing a top hat that looks like it was eaten by moths long before you were even born.
You sit down at your desk and look around – Michael has on an Orioles cap. Stephanie is wearing a Redskins cap. Stephen sports a little league cap. Linda has a small tiara. Most kids are wearing nothing at all. Besides their own hair.
No one else has gone to such lengths as you.
No one else has sired such a winning testament to their artistic identity.
No one else deemed it necessary to share said artistic identity with the class.
No one else stayed up until midnight with their dad spray-painting their horn.
No one else stayed up until midnight with their mom cutting and pasting their yarn onto the back.
No one else had their parents take a picture before they left the house.
No one else is a pirate captain slash unicorn.
But damnit – who cares what the haters say?
It’s Hat Day, Artie.
And you look super fly.