Sunday, March 29, 2009


My body is incongruous. My face, enormous, my forehead a vast billboard over my stick figure body. Brand new Adidas, glowing white with blue stripes, and three of the exact same pairs of jeans that my mother bought me at the beginning of the school year, now two inches too short. Hair an uncontrollable aura of frizz, pink plastic glasses framing my disbelieving eyes. My backpack was called The Haller, and I thought this was funny. Lionel Richie's "all night long" played incessantly on the radio, but nobody I knew actually owned a copy. There were eighteen blocks between my house and school, and most days I took the city bus. I had a bus pass that gave me half fare, and it got stolen once. Fortunately, it was at the end of the month, and I only had to pay with tokens for five days. On one of those days I met one of the popular girls at the bus stop, and when she realized she didn't have change to get on the bus, I gave her one of my tokens, which meant I 'd have to walk the eighteen blocks back home in the afternoon. Another time at the bus stop I suddenly became aware of the hair on my legs, something I'd never paid attention to before. I was wearing a skirt, and it showed. A girl at the bus stop stared at my legs, unflinchingly, the beginnings of a laugh on her face. I shaved for the first time that afternoon using my mother's razor and a bar of Ivory soap. I was crushed when Reagan won in a landslide, the whole map red except for Minnesota, not that I could have voted.

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