This is the Life of a Redhead



Monday, June 13, 2011

Excerpt - "My Legs Are a Cluster of Birds"

A professor of mine nominated this story for the Norton Writer's Prize. It's creative nonfiction. Here is a short excerpt. Full piece is ~2800 words.

"Sometimes, when I am alone, or near my best friend (and only him), I try to puff up my body like a small finch that has been wronged, or is frightened. I raise my shoulders and suck in my breath and puff out my belly. In my mind I look so birdlike, with my small eyes and fidgety (twitchy) demeanor. I even flatten my lips and move them together, pretending that I have a beak, pecking at my food, my bird-sized portions. Then I look in a mirror and I see my face, which is not birdlike at all. In fact, my lips stretched over my buck teeth look alien and uncomfortable, and my puffed-up body is nothing more than a too-thin young woman trying to look large when in fact stretching her shoulders makes her look more angular, more emaciated, even though she does eat larger-than-bird-sized portions, and often, though many would disagree.
           
            My mother, for instance. She disagrees."