"I feel like hydrogen… and it’s not a good feeling."
Not a good feeling? Really?
I think it is the best feeling in the whole, wide world. Being Hydrogen - the atom that skips and jumps around, feels ecstatic or melancholic, the atom that is free, the atom that lacks a neutron.
Yes, Hydrogen. The atom that does not know normal.

This is a response to Meghna Gulati's article in the last issue. It's the first in a new column - Parallel Worlds, which Meghna and I will co-write.

First and foremost, I am perfectly capable of possessing a neutron, as is evident when I occur as Deuterium and Tritium. I choose to exist as Protium, in most cases. It’s a choice to exist without something everybody else has. I am unique. I only resemble others. I resemble alkali metals but I am not an alkali metal. I resemble halogens, too, but I am not a halogen, either. People often get confused when they wonder where I really belong.

Who am I? I am something different. So different that I have a separate position on the Periodic Table. I am positioned right on the top, for the peak is where I belong. All these elements below me- they’re the ones who need me. I provide them with the electron and stability they so desperately need, even if that calls for the sacrifice of the only electron I have. When I lose the sole electron I possess, I am known as the proton, which is extremely crucial in so many organic reactions. I am special.

I have the simplest structure. Simple, yet complex. The world requires me to solve their crises and give them energy, but I don’t let them figure out how to use me. You see, everybody thinks they know me, but they don’t.

And I? I don’t need any other element. I need someone like me- another Hydrogen. Two free spirits who will ground each other. Two similar individuals who will want to discover each other, and the world. Two Hydrogens to provide each other with normalcy and stability, while keeping the freedom intact.

Another Hydrogen is all I want, and another Hydrogen I shall find.

Till then, I am going to enjoy being the exceptional, amazing being that I am: Hydrogen.

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