"I Began To Notice" by Robyn Joy

I BEGAN TO NOTICE how it impressed boys when I drank as good as or better than them. I noticed that I had a special power that my brother couldn’t put in his shadow when I used my body to speak instead of my words. I began to notice I wasn’t the prettiest or the most popular or smartest or most talented at the best at anything, but I was good at being awkward and not fitting in with anyone, and sometimes that earned affection from someone interesting. I began to notice I was my sister’s little sister until she went to college and had her first baby, and I was my brother’s little sister until he graduated from our high school, and then I wasn’t sure, so I became Billy’s girlfriend and then someone else’s girlfriend and someone else’s and so on unless I was the party girl who was anybody’s and could keep up with anyone but still graduate from college with a solid C average and hold onto an endless string of adequately paying jobs in customer service where no one cared about how hungover you were as long as you arrived on time and said it with a smile. I began to notice years later when I became a wife for the first time that I didn’t have any idea who I was, except that I did, and I loved not getting to know her better, because I found her to be too angry and volatile for public consumption and it was easier to just play along with what everyone else liked than to bring attention to such an undesirable girl.

Gary MillerComment