What I Am Not

I am the common denominator…. I am a lot of things, but nothing that stands out. I am the chubby, funny friend at the party who makes everyone laugh, but has nothing to say. I can see the ghost of 40 pounds ago that haunts my face in the mirror. I am pretty, but only under the muddy exterior of self loathing that covers someone who is so desperately alone. I am not the girl that someone notices until I open my mouth. I am not the thing that love songs are written about. I am not the person that novels are based on. I am not the stranger that people fantasize about when I’m sitting across from them on the train.

I am not elegant, classy, or striking. In fact, i resort to stretch pants more often than fitted clothes lately. I keep the same, close cropped haircut i’ve had for years in order to keep some sort of consistency in my life. I have a belly that hangs over my zipper and bad posture that causes my back to ache on a daily basis. I have stretch marks that look like a rabid animal has attacked me. I am ashamed to be naked, unless it’s dark. I wear black. always. Not out of pleasure, but necessity. I can hear my ex boyfriend’s mother in the back of my mind “you were so beautiful when you were thinner”. A printed photograph of me from my anorexic days clung to her fridge next to a sonogram of her grandson until we broke up- a terrible reminder that my self worth is measured by my outward appearance. I can still see the vintage purple slip I wore in that picture- a desperate attempt to impress his family at our first outing together. That was probably the last time I saw my collar bones.

Devon Dadoly