I’m a stranger to myself


My room is littered with cotton balls, sex toys, and makeup I’ve never worn before. My hair is wet and my shirt has a hole right where my right nipple is. I’m wearing shorts made for people who don’t like wearing shorts. They’re the same length as my underwear except I could wear these out of the house because they’re called something different.

Are you a grown-up today?

My friends text me and I slide my phone casually open, glance at the letters and symbols, and slide it back shut. My pinky finger hurts. I’m not sure if I would ever know if it were broken or not because it’s just so small. Two in the pink, one in the stink. Shocker. I like to rock her. I need a pinky cast. Too much foolin’ around.

The notebook on my bed has scribbles from where I’ve tested my large collection of pens. Under that are important details about the next six months of my life.

Rent. Paid for. Utilities. Electricity. Heat. Waiting. Studio. Bedroom. Vacancies. No Vacancies.

When I was little I used to pretend I was a spy. Today they call that “writing in shorthand”… everything is ruined for me, even refrigerator boxes.

I was thinking last night of things that are clever. Typically these thoughts come to me in that state where you are technically asleep but technically not asleep. I suppose I was lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming of things from the past that meant so much to me then and so little to me now.

Like how the moss grows in between the cracks in the sidewalks. Carpet walkways for the bugs. How I would grind up chalk dust, add water to it, and make chalk all over again. I never snorted anything. I’ve never even had milk come out my nose.

When I was little sex was something that existed in an alternate universe. My friend held two barbies together and tried to explain where babies came from. She rubbed them together and I grimaced. Not because I thought it was disgusting but because I had no idea what the fuck she was doing to my dolls and that seemed like the appropriate face to make.

Nail polish remover. Facts about how to fix cars I’ll never know. Books I’ve never read. On my safety file cabinet is a street map. Bike lanes. How to get around. How to get here, how to get there, places I’ll never go.

You’ve never done enough, you’ve got to do more! What do you do all day- Lorelei?

I tell people my name and they hold their hand out and say, glad to meet you, lora-lee.

No, Lora-lie.


My friends call me Lo.


I shake their hand.

The next day I go back and their face doesn’t light up in recognition. I try to explain. I was here yesterday. Remember? We talked. We shook hands. They smile and say they remember but I know they don’t. I call myself Claude at starbucks. They call my name. I sip an americano thoughtfully, tasting the burnt beans and the acidic flavor run down my throat into my stomach. It grumbles. I grumble back.

I’m a stranger to myself, drinking a strangers drink.

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