When I was fourteen, I was three inches shorter and forty pounds lighter and I didn't feel attractive then and I don't now. I just want to pull off dressing like a dude, because I don't feel comfortable dressing like a girl, too gangly and chubby in the wrong places and not confident enough and when I laugh my whole face bunches up and my cheeks become huge and I've got an impressive range of facial expressions, kind of like a muppet, but looking like a muppet never got me what I wanted and I thought I wanted to be liked by other people but for the most part I have that, I think I just want to be able to like myself and I am so awful in social situations and I just sit there and blush and hold my head in my hands and when I'm forcing myself out of that I add way too much swagger to my steps and laugh too loudly and make really stupid immature jokes and sometimes I just fucking hate myself for it, and sometimes I feel like I want Matt, grabby hands like a baby, but I think I just want him to apologize for being such a shitty person and I want him to stop making me the butt of all his jokes but he wouldn't when we were together and now he hates me because I called him out on how shitty he is to other people and so if I asked him to stop he'd mock me even harder and if I ask his friends, the people I thought were maybe my friends, but definitely, at this point, just his friends, they'd shift uncomfortably and be like, "Uh, hey, man, I didn't realize," and then tell Matt and then they'll all keep making fun of me and I hate feeling picked on, and it happens to me over and over and over again. I am not the confident asshole I try to seem like. I just get picked on over and over and over and it's easier to be louder and cruder and better-liked and smarter than those people than it is to confront them but it's not enough.


Walking by the stacks I idly run my hand across the titles, hoping my finger will catch on some great trove of wisdom, the sort of thing that would enlighten me and deliver me from heartache. In that instant I will know what to buy, no insecurity or second-guessing. You've seen me do this, remember? I don't know if you remember. I remember everything about you.

I once read a book wherein the heroine did the same thing, ran her fingers along the tops of books in the library, and became powerful. It was called So You Want To Be A Wizard. It is chimerical to think I have that same capacity, of course, but I do it again and again.

I chase after you anyway. I do it again and again.
I am an extraordiary
object, rendered useful
in the hands of other men
who are themselves useful,
I suppose, men
whose hands made me sing
and pushed me to you.
And your hands held me--
and I thought, unkindly, "You
are revolting and endearing,
you whose soft hands
cannot hold me without
pain. You are untrained,
and gentle and far too
weak, and I am
heavy and sharp
and useless like you."
You held me still and I thought,
dully, without feeling,
"Some talented god gave me life,
but maybe it can be
taken, turned into something else.
Dully you took it from me."
When you held me, I thought,
"We deserve each
other, I deserve
you, you deserve
me." I forgot
how to think,
only an object made
useful in the hands
of other men.
I resent
you for