Redefining Dignity

the mouse that roared's picture

This was a paper I wrote for school for a very open-ended assignment.

Redefining Dignity

In their quick glances in the hall, in their glittering eyes and no-toothed smiles, she sees laughter and malice. Who does she think she is? What does she think she’s doing? How could she even think that, want that? Ew. She’s dirt, psychotic dirt that they grind into the ground with our smiles-that-would-be-smirks, their thoughts unspoken but playing loud, loud in her head because she thought them once too. Grind it all into nothing and it will go away.

How could anyone ever tell you/You are anything less than beautiful?/How could anyone ever tell you/You are less than whole?

The round treadmills musical hooks on her thoughts, the only thing keeping them from scattering panicked like a school of fish. She holds her head at the impeccable height: not too high, not too low, chin straight ahead. In her head her chin is a mountain towards the tile-ceiling sky. In her head she cuts remarks back at them: Who needs you anyway? In her head she giggles at something oh-so-unrelated with a friend beside her. In the hall, she does not see the girls, she will not look at them. They aren’t anyone worth knowing.

But the glances follow her, in the halls and in the classroom, and she knows it, and she knows what they are accusing: predator. That girl over there, if you get near enough she’ll hit on you. Oh, don’t tell me you didn’t know, next thing you know everyone will be saying you’re—.

Not that they see her act, her perfectionist coldness, not now when all they see is gay.

She smiles coldly at the whisperers and sits straight-backed in her chair. She has her standards, and she’s not stupid enough to flirt with straight girls, especially not ones like them. She wished her friends were with her. They wouldn’t care if she kissed an elephant.

She’s so busy looking for the hatred while not looking at it that she doesn’t see the furtive smiles or the quick, sympathetic looks. When a girl sits down next to her she feels tingly-nervous and heavy at the same time. What does this girl want from her?



Icarus's picture


Oooooh, so wonderful. *Grabs it and runs away, jumping onto a chair, hopping up and down* It's so pretty! Teach me to write like that! Pleeeeeeze?

Seriously, I love it, love it, love it. Your imagery and wording is insanely talented. None of my stuff even compares to that.

"Where the hell is Nebraska?!"

You might never find out that you are useful for all the right reasons - and not all those stupid things that people tell you you're useful for. --Angelina Jolie

the mouse that roared's picture

:) Thanks

Are you hanging on to something useless just because you think it's beautiful?
--William Zinsser