- I wanted to write a skit about the abundance of protein shake stores in Wilmington, North Carolina, but I’m not funny enough to pull off the jokes. I’ll try to explain it to you, though: the jacked, cartoonish men that work the counter, their shoulder muscles bulging as they screw the smoothie lid tighter, tighter. Where do they find these men? Paper ads? Craigslist? I wonder if they have families. I wonder if they sleep more than twelve hours a day. I wonder if they’ve been to the doctor this week.
- I’ve been reading about women in their underwear. Delicate, lace things in shades of cream or peach that feel sexy but don’t scream sex. I suppose some women don’t worry about stains. The woman in the romance novel I’m reading walks around her house with no pants on, and her love interest can’t stop talking about his zipper. It’s so damn tight. The last underwear pack I bought—a 10 pack of nude Granny Panties from Target—barely lasted me my next period cycle.
- I quit my last job because I couldn’t spell “salumi formaggi” right. It’s hard to picture a literary life when you can’t even master spell check or three-step pasta dishes. My excessive sleeping has become a problem instead of a quirky character trait, and I’m tired of explaining to possible employers why I can’t seem to get up before noon. I sobbed for over an hour to my dad because I felt like I wasn’t doing enough, and he said, “But you willingly volunteer to help sixth-graders.”
- My aunts read my poetry book and told my mom they thought I was depressed. It hurt because I published it at a time when I felt healthy.
- I pick up my CVS prescriptions 5 days late every month, and it’s probably the only routine I’ve mastered. I have enough antidepressants to last at least a couple months, but my birth control is a different story. It’s not like I’m having sex, but I could be having sex and then what?
- I got Catfished once, and I think it was by someone I knew. It feels dramatic to say “trauma,” but sometimes it hits me all at once: kind of dizzying and blue. I have weekly nightmares that this person is stalking me, that they show up to my vacation home before I do and are sitting on the living room couch, hands placid in their lap. I think about kissing them. I think about tying them up and leaving them there.
Sidney Wollmuth graduated from the University of North Carolina Wilmington with a BA in English and a BFA in Creative Writing. Her work has been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing competition, Huffington Post, and No Contact Mag, among others. She was selected for the International Writing Program’s Summer Institute in 2020. Oh, and she makes people laugh. Usually, not on purpose.