A city lover with a concrete soul, keeping close to the ground.
Knows her writing role: to read across all genres, then crawl in between them and create something of her own.
Purveyor of epic stories and rock and roll. Combined, they are unstoppable.
I am a city lover. I have a concrete soul. When I lie down, my ribs are the cracks kids skip in the sidewalk. The asphalt perfectly fills my bones.
These are the words of an ungirl, having grown up alone, having waited to see love structured logically. She knew and did not know; she saw and could not see the size of the waiting room she waited for: an empty auditorium. Four tall walls. Pliable bodies filled the corners—fit together in their love like foam puzzle pieces forming clamshells with handshakes. She would hang from the rafters and watch them give in, one by one, two by two, telescoped examples displaying nothing but need.
She tried to ease herself into long arms, small hands. She wrapped herself in clothes and pretended to be soft. But she felt that flesh would not support her. She was hard. She pushed against people and felt them give way. Perhaps it was because she had practiced against lockers. Feeling the metal there, she expected a wall. Something solid. A window, or an iron door. They always came away with bruises.
Hold me, she seemed to say, not like a pillow but the way a board holds onto a nail, accepting the sharp steel but remaining stalwart, intact.
They were always too reluctant to be wooden, too full of demure hesitation, echoed answers, lonely footsteps. She would have to adapt. The ungirl tried again for every moment passed. Tried to whittle down her bones in preparation for skin. Reduce their potential for killing.
Maybe she tried too hard. She wanted something to push against, brace herself with. To elbow the surface and see it hold steady.
Maybe I’m made of metal inside.
There were words, substitutions, atoms of doubt: comfortable and easy and beautiful and love. No exclamations or pleasant stasis. She would develop shivers from being touched. She would wake at midnight, some boy’s heart beating against her cheek, some clock chiming in her outer hearing, and steel her arms against being held in an attempt to prevent panic. A lack of density had always deepened her disgust—towards boys, girls, films, pictures, pages of books. Her chest would contract in the dark, trying to return to her cold, hard center.
Ungirls cannot adapt.
It was a childhood contract, a pact signed in her room: build yourself with scaffolding and you won’t fall down.
Gentle blows blew her over. Soon breaths came with difficulty. Sweet sounds drove her hands to her ears and blocked out the traffic. It was falling down all around her in skeptical phrases—
You can’t be a girl.
No, she always answered. I am no girl.
Either you want it or you don’t. There’s no in-between.
Then I don’t, she surmised. Not like stone. Not from something as delicate as you.
She saw in herself a mineral, an undiscovered combination of elements that had created her long, lanky shape. She considered returning to the earth.
She found herself caressing cars instead of arms. A sewer grating was a sweet nothing. Desires of barbed wire circled her head like a halo.
She had to leave. Escape the heavy avalanche of lightness.
She pushed away delicacy and went, on a plane, to a place that balanced her weight like a diving platform.
City, she sighed. Let me lie with your street.
Now her hips lurch out of the pavement like potholes. Every back alley blows kisses. Each streetlamp winks at her and licks its lips. The skyscrapers send shocks through her system. She wraps herself around chain-link and makes love to the comic-book moon.
I am an ungirl no longer, she says. I am a city lover. And I… I have never believed in soft love.