“Big sister, how do you like my hair?”
She asks sweetly as she touches the puff of hair on the top of her head. Her hair’s chemically treated straight and painted black.
“Looks good dear” I respond.
She gets up and stretches down the tight skirt she’s wearing, as I stare in disbelief. I can’t believe she has the guts to walk down the street wearing that. My aunties are aging and busy caking makeup over their faces in the meanwhile. They’re gonna walk arm in arm with her proudly down the street so that everyone can stare at them. All of a sudden, they divert their attention randomly at me and talk about how horrible I look.
“Wear some makeup! Dress better! Fix your hair! Don’t you want to stand out?”
Those days are gone. I’ve lost that kind of interest. I’m no longer a teenager. I don’t need that type of attention anymore. Everything feels too late. It just feels different nowadays.
I say, “Don’t need to” apathetically and continue to recline on the bed. I feel like a faded, colorless fish. The fancy and glamorous girl in me, dead for years.
My aunty’s large eyes grow massive and she comes to grab me by the arm, “Get over here! I’m not going to let you embarrass us!”
My aunties hold me down and style my hair, smoothe out my eyebrows, and give my clothes a fitting. I enjoy beauty sessions with them. However, I managed to get away with not getting my face caked with makeup.
“Oh my god, look at how pretty she looks now!” they all congratulate themselves. They rave about how much they’ve improved me.
It’s an odd yet a special feeling. Around my young-at-heart aunties, I’ll always be a little kid that needs fixing… no matter how much we all age together…
My aunt grabs me by the waist and makes me sit on her lap like an overgrown baby, and we pose for a picture, with genuine smiles.
I see a stack of short jean shorts and that same feeling comes back. Yellow dandelions blossoming on green hills. The springing of summer. That long lost feeling of looking forward to something; of changing into a young woman from a preteen. The start of a new life filled with sunshine and warm weather.
In the mid nineties, small bright tribal patchwork on jean shorts were trending. My body and mind was changing and I had new ambitions on… being a likable girl. I gravitated towards the funky colorful yellow-orange vibrant patchwork pretending that it was just a short term whim; that it wasn’t really me because I tended to think through things.
Wearing it would be like like bursting out of a timid dark place with flashing colors. There was a new season swirling around, and I’d be embracing it with a giddy smile. There’d be new adventures and new places to find. Sun in tinted hair, sliding through the streets in rollerblades. Chasing after a white puppy on a leash. Concrete school with spells of spring break. New boys, new social circles, new freedoms, new events to participate in. I would be drenched in all this dreamlike glory of newness. The air would smell like springtime in full boom, as I bloom.
Morphing into a newer body, those shorts would curve and hug around me like it was meant to be. I’d swing my hips and dance on them while being the sunny girl I always saw myself as. The world would shimmer under my feet, the trees would sway and dance with me. It was a new season, and I’d spin with the turning globe. The possibilities awaited, and the possibilities were infinite, omnipresent, and endless.
I begged to buy those shorts, and I was finally able to. Once home, I rushed to try them on. I jumped in front of the mirror in hopes of witnessing magic before my eyes. The frumpy, wide, saggy denim hung around me. What a disappointment.
I became a real vegetarian six years ago. The thought of someone suffering overpowers the taste. Little by little I’m noticing that I don’t need much at all.
Clutter binds me; I want to detach myself from things that I don’t use. I don’t care to put on too much makeup, I don’t care too much about fashion…
I just want to have natural and genuine relationships with people. Maybe that’s why in parties I seem happy, because I am… letting myself get questioned. But every time I feel the pressure to behave like how I should, I clam up.
Deep in the forest, by the cave, I sit with animals who keep me company from the distance. We don’t say a word and we don’t touch at all, but I feel like they’re listening to the melody of my heart. I look at a hare and think that I could never hurt it. The hare hops away to do what it does in order to live. I look down and play with rocks in my hand. The sun manages to beam through the tree branches into the woods. It feels so lonely out here once in a while. With whatever little I have left, sometimes I feel like I myself am disappearing. I walk the forest trails following this strong, invisible thread of love. I push through the leaves and look as far as I could to see if I could find him. I don’t know if it even leads to anywhere, but it’s the only thing that gives me hope.
You’re an artist
And thus, I automatically hate you
We repel each other
I hate your standard of beauty
I hate mine
We created this falsehood
And we can never escape it
You’re fake, feeble, vacant, mediocre, arrogant, callous, pathetic and vile
I love you