I need you to really picture me.
I wiped my eyes as I walked down Mass Ave. through the morning commute of the respectable working class. Upon looking down at the traces of black on my hand, I realized I had gone to sleep with full make up on last night and therefore my lips were still painted bright red. I hunched into my black thrift shop blazer, uncomfortably aware that it’s barely wool shell plus my thin polka dot sweater (red, it matched my dry lipsticked pucker) was hardly appropriate for winter attire. I was trying to get my hair out of my face as I tickled my nose scrunching it up when a young gentleman in a suit and slouched hat walked past me and gave me a look that can only be described as ‘endearing admiration.’ I smiled, liking the recognition and slight flirt when I looked to my left at my reflection in the Au Bon Pan store front. Fuck. No. Not me. This can’t be happening.
My Ukulele clanged up against my thigh with a hollowed chord progression.
I am what I hate.
I’m a manic pixie.
I’m cynical, or want to be cynical enough to hate things like She & Him and hipsters. I roll my eyes at Natalie Portman and Zooey. I thought Kate Winslett’s character in Eternal Sunshine was just trying so damn hard.
I’m an improv comedian. I wear my hair in pin up styles and hats that look like I stepped out of 1945. I find myself skipping or dancing when I have no business. I have ‘Diesel’ in cursive tattooed on my ass. Let me repeat: I took up the Ukulele.
The worst part? I’ve always been this sterotype. I can’t help it, and I didn’t realize it. I fucking giggle. When teaching improv I’ve been known to give such notes as “Sprinkle on the Jams and put them in the sky.” When I date, a certain type of guy falls hard and fast for me in the first two weeks while my disshoveled traits are still adorable. Don’t worry; they soon become the things men hate the most. I imagine it goes like this:
First two weeks.
They wake up in the morning and I’m gone for work and step out of bed into a nest of bobby pins. These tiny carpet ants lead a trail around the room like I was Gretel trying to find her way home. They smile, and laugh to themselves shaking their head thinking “she’s so cute,” stashing the collection in an unused ashtray, or more likely a drawer they’ve already assigned to me.
Post two weeks.
They wake up in the morning stepping in those same pins and resent me. Biting their lips and shaking their head thinking “she’s a fucking mess,” throwing the pins in my drawer which they keep packing up for me to take home while I leave other things behind.
I really don’t try to be this. I’m not self aware enough to know in the moment when I’m cooking not using a recipe telling my partner “My heart tells me what to do” that I am disgusting. Yes, I see it now and I’m completely aware. In the moment: never.
I don’t know what to do. I’m stuck like this. I’m cursed. I didn’t ask for big pleading blue eyes and a vague talent for all of the arts. I really am distressed by this. Yes, I’m aware of it now but it’s not going to change anything.
As I type this, I’ve noticed the keyboard feels funny on my left finger tips because they’re callused from playing a sing songy version of ‘Hey Ya’ on the Uke.