i used to wear this black beret, everywhere. it was some kind of statement, i guess; or maybe it was the fact that a beret, all stretchy and malleable, was the only thing to fit this big head of mine.
she always wore the fanciest hats, picked from the shelves of vintage stores, estate sales; her hats had history, color, and intrigue.
i felt like my beret was ordinary, that it was trying too hard. but still i wore it. i was ever trying to project some kind of difference. but still i felt invisible.
i remember as a young girl, reading 'deenie' in my bed at night with a flashlight, far and away past bedtime. i remember deenie had scoliosis. she had to wear this hideous back brace that stuck out everywhere, but still she remained invisible to everyone else. i could so relate. i always felt like i got lost in the walls and cement sidewalks of every place.
and sometimes i still feel like that, too big and awkward, and yet still fading into nothing, nothing beyond forgotten. and, when that rush of insecurity flames through me, i try too hard.
yes, much too hard. i can hear it in my voice, and the way even breathing catches taffy stuck sticky in the back of my throat. i laugh a bit too loud, i tell too many stories. i find myself talking in these jangly circles that hold no real meaning.
inside i am screaming.
can't you see me?
can't you see i'm trying?
trying too hard (again).
those are the days that i feel as much of an outcast as a plastic spork in some faux fancy restaurant with no marked prices on the menus (if you have to ask...); you know the kind with eight forks for one meal. not that i'd know how to distinguish any of them from one another.
i'm really more of a diner girl at heart. milk shakes, jukeboxes on each table, lots of good, not strained, conversations. friends who know me for who i am, big head and loud laugh. gullible me, with or without a beret, and all of those contrived trappings of just trying to be. all of it, and none of it.