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"I wish I had your problem."

I tighten in silent reply to this too-easy dismissal. "Just for one day, I want to be no one," I mutter to myself, but my companion doesn't hear. We keep walking, and I feel the need to rail against this unfair power, the legacy and curse etched into my "fair form."

"It's not something you can turn on and off. You have to look at every person as an enemy. You always wonder what they're after, when they'll start trying to herd you into bed, like some skittish wild animal--hand outstretched, cooing. You're not a person, you're a great pair of tits." I think of the man earlier who had tried to talk me into his apartment to bum a cigarette, who laughed at me as I skittered away, throwing back "No, thank you"s like a deer's upturned tail, and how I clutched a thin, unsharpened pencil like a weapon against his approach.

"Eyes crawl over you like hands, uninvited, so your body's not your own anymore," I think aloud. A sideways glance tells me he is contemplating this like a curiosity, "Your instinct becomes to run, to close yourself in, or else to turn it against them, let them tip you and buy you drinks." A guilty fist turns in my stomach, thinking of my attempts to forget myself in music and free drinks, to somehow slink through the suffocation. "They call me a goddess sometimes, like they're worshipping or paying tribute. I don't want that. I don't want to be better than anyone else, not in a way I can't help or change."

"You're beautiful. You can't escape it," my friend says with the finality of fact, annoyed that i would contest my "gift".

I look up at the cold, distant moon, always circling the earth like a moth on a wire, a styrofoam satellite on a science project mobile. "No, I guess I can't escape it," I answer with a sigh.

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