Wednesday, May 8, 2013

reality check

For my next trick I will brush my teeth and comb my hair just like a real! live! girl!

Maybe that is what real girls do before they go to bed. Maybe that is what real girls do in the morning.  Maybe real girls never sleep and instead watch television all night. Maybe real girls sleep on thin woven mats on the floor. Maybe real girls eat real meals and maybe real girls do not. Maybe real girls have handbags not to carry lies and imaginary friends, but for things like lipstick or pocketbooks or wallets. And in these wallets, maybe real girls keep their coins secure and safe within zipper-lipped pouches, instead of placing them all soft and gentle on top of their swollen puffy eyelids and eyebags. Maybe real girls work real jobs or get real allowances from their real parents to buy pretty shiny happy bright things. Maybe real girls do not worry if they have enough spare change to place on top of their swollen puffy eyelids so that when they are in a boat in a river in the underworld, they can pay the toll fee and go somewhere new. Maybe real girls think about these things, maybe real girls do not. Maybe real girls only have pretty shiny happy bright thoughts, or maybe they have exclusively terrible dull ugly thoughts. Maybe they know what to do with these thoughts. Maybe they do not. Maybe real girls can sleep with all the lights off and they do not hear the sound of sadness, which is heavy with solutes but still nonviscuous, leaking out of their veins to pool in the spaces between their muscles and fat. Maybe real girls prefer to keep a light on or their laptop on or the screen of their phone on even though no one is texting or calling or greeting or talking when it is past their bedtime. Maybe real girls check their phone or computer screens, emails, social networking accounts, inbox, voicemail, to see if anyone has noticed how sad, yet real, this real girl is. Maybe real girls like real boys or other real girls or no one at all. Maybe real girls do not flinch when people touch them. Maybe real girls do not mind it when their thighs touch, or maybe real girls do not have thighs that touch or maybe real girls do not have legs. The important thing is that they are real! live! girls! They are tangible! They are facts! They are birth certificates and vaccinations and tuition receipts  They are proven to exist! They have real girl bodies that may be soft dry flaky oily, but my god they are real. They are 3-dimensional. And that is more than I will ever feel like. I am not a real! live! girl! but I like to pretend that I am. My body is fidgety, it either changes in size, composition or density. Sometimes it decides to not exist altogether, sometimes it won't stop reminding me. I am almost entirely certain that I do not have a body, that I am an It who is walking and talking and playing Uno with friends. I am not a real! live! girl! Real girls are constant, not liminal. I am barely even alive at all. I am not a real sound, I am an echo.

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