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shop together. I scratch at my jeans and flick my cigarette on the sidewalk. My eyes dance with the ashes that swirl on the ground. “Kate!” I look up. Rachel presses her lips against the end of her cigarette and stares at me. I roll my eyes at her. Some people only talk to have others stare at them. “Don’t take my attention if you aren’t going to intrigue me.” She exhales. “You looked sad.” Who can argue with that? I listen to the radio at night on the way home from Rachel’s. I used to play my music by listening to songs on my phone on repeat. Now I sit in silence. A few months ago, Rachel’s car adaptor broke, so she started listening to the radio. When I go home later that day, I drive back listening to the same station out of habit. I drive home when the sun sets behind me, and the light reflects against my skin in a way that tints me orange. But not the bright orange that makes my head hurt. The kind of orange you see when you close your eyes after staring at the sun too long though your eyes should feel blessed to see something so beautiful. “I’m sorry sir, we’re actually about to close.” I hold the door closed against my body, hoping he won’t try to come inside. My eight-hour shift at the coffee shop is quickly turning into nine while I argue with the man standing in front of me. “I just want some coffee.” He stares at my face first. I wonder if he thinks I’m beautiful, but I watch his eyes fall, staring at what you can only slightly make out of my chest beneath the baggy shirt. Does he know that I purposely asked for bigger shirts, just to avoid the awkward dance I have to do to with myself to forget that men like him only want to stare at my B-cup boobs? “Forget it, have a good night.” He walks off, and I close the door. My coworker asks me if everything is all right, and I nod. She doesn’t want to hear about the new guy who thought I was hot. Everyone gets tired of hearing the hot girl complain about guys staring at them. They seem to forget that I’m not the hot girl; I’m Kate. I finish closing and walk to my car. I keep my pepper spray in my hand until I get to the driver door. “Do you consider yourself to be a feminist?” Rachel hands me the tiny FIJI bottle filled with two-day old tequila. I take a swig and shrug my shoulders. “Why do you ask?” I counter. “I’ve just been doing some deep soul searching,” she tells me timidly, and I understand why. The huff that came from me was meant to be heard, but she keeps talking anyway. “Don’t you think we should stand up for ourselves as women? To be equal? To not be afraid?”




Profile for Oakland Arts Review

Oakland Arts Review Volume 4  

Oakland Arts Review Volume 4