Posts Tagged ‘monologue’

There are no two more different people on earth than my sister Lenya and myself, according to people who assume they know us well.

She is stunning. I am plain; such is the basis of all other assumptions about us.

And also of strangers. One day as we were walking, I stopped to tie my shoe on a busy city street and told her I would catch up. As it was, she loped ahead and I didn’t meet her until shortly after this:

The hot dog seller, the construction workers at lunch on the kerb, the university students; they all stared at her in awe of her litheness, her long, shiny chestnut hair, her perfectly proportioned oval face. One man’s jaw dropped. None spoke.  As I strode to catch up, I was greeted with vile cat calls from the construction workers.

“Yo, baby, shake that fat ass!”
“Hey, smile! Smile!
“Ungh! Ungh!”

I wanted to burst into tears, but dared not. I didn’t want to embarrass my sister or myself. When I finally did catch up to her, the innocent look she’d been wearing for those men dropped as she smirked at me.

“I’ll bet it really sucks to have to deal with that.”

Why do people think that just because someone is beautiful that they are all other good things? That biological indicators of symmetry, fitness and health equals honesty, intelligence or compassion?

I am a good person!

I must stop allowing the bitterness to take over.


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OK, I’m thinking, like, if I stay cold, I’ll burn more calories, right? Right? Because, like, the fat underneath my skin, oh wait, no, that’s wrong, because the fat under my skin will keep my organs warm. Right, that’s why I get fatter in the winter.

Or it could be because I start eating like Grendel in that book in October and don’t let up until the middle of March. It’s all starchy stuff, like potatoes and pasta. My grandma eats like that. Well, she used to eat like that. Then she got diabetes. She eats a lot of vegetables now.

I’d eat vegetables more often except I don’t like them. I mean, have you ever smelled Brussels sprouts? Isn’t it just nasty? I mean, like, oh, my god, how am I supposed to eat something like that? I’ll bet it tastes nasty, too. Why can’t everything taste like bacon cheddar cheeseburgers?

Mom says that hamburger’s getting so expensive now, and until Dad finds a job, we’re going to eat a lot of spaghetti. We used to go out on Friday or Saturday night for dinner at Olive Garden, but it’s too much money. It totally sucks. Mom needs whatever extra for gas to get to work.

I thought they’d fight more, but they don’t. They just don’t talk. I don’t know if it’s because they’re too angry at each other or they’re just too tired to fight. I’m going to start babysitting. You can eat while you’re babysitting, right?

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I wanted to choose my own name.  I thought by changing my name, I would be different.  Nothing was different.  The people I knew laughed and refused when I asked them to call me Sophia.  So I gave in and responded to what they’d always called me.   I didn’t stand up for what I wanted or for myself.  I never have.  I just quietly made plans to move away.

Even so, it’s been the same pattern. The new people treat me the same as old people – as if I were a person of no consequence.  I’m the drudge at the office where I work.  No one calls to check on me when I’m sick.  I have no friends.  Acquaintances.  Not friends.  The men I meet don’t seem to want to get to know know me as a person.  They want to use me as if I were a toy from a shop, then leave.  They think I don’t get it. Yet I’m the one who believes that I’m a terrible person for not being OK with all this; that I should accept my lot and “be happy”.  Today, I understood, though – on the bus it hit me: everywhere I go, I’m taking the same me; I’m taking the same way of making choices with me.

But I don’t know what to do now that I know this, Doctor.  I don’t know how to treat myself like I treat other people.  Being kind to myself feels wrong.  What do I do?

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