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DIRTY SHIRLEY by Sophie Jennis

I have a rash on my neck and it must be because I wear my short necklace to bed every night and it tries to choke me in my sleep.

I look over to my left at the wine bottle left over from my time with A. I think I wear the necklace to bed because I miss him. His hands did what I wanted them to and he wore the same sneakers as my dead grandpa. For the first time, I wonder what shoes my grandpa was buried in. I strongly consider asking my grandma and then decide against it. His memorial service was held last month even though he passed away over a year ago. It’s all because my grandma doesn’t like pity. On the way to the memorial I ate chocolate covered raisins, and when I read the ingredients I was disgusted to discover they contained milk fat. When we got to the funeral home, I made myself throw up in the bathroom. When I walked out of the stall to fix my mascara in the mirror, the Rabbi walked in. I thought at least this is the best place to be seen with wet eyes.

I want to have a baby. I want to have a baby and I think about what it’d be like to have a baby with everyone I’ve been with this year. Except the one from vacation, he doesn’t count. And if I am forgetting anyone, that means they don’t count either. There are already two guys I call my baby daddy in my head and they have no clue. It’s all their fault for being all the same and reminding me of my father. What is familiar to us is a curse because that will be what we attract. So you better pray you get born into some good shit.

Sophomore year I had about 6 hickies around my collarbone and neck. The rest of my skin was snow white and I wore a shirt that showed it all. I went to listen to a hot drummer play music and a different hot drummer gave me the hickies. I told Ariana I wanted to hit on the hot drummer. She said you already have hickies from the other hot drummer. You don’t even care do you, you like it. I smiled in the way that I knew I was made of cherries only then.

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