Buckle strapped, seat upright, plane picks up speed. For that one moment, my world holds still. My body rattles and my heart races. Small beads form on my upper lip. I twitch, sing songs in my head, count by twos, threes, even the more difficult sevens and eights. Yet my breath quickens because although I consciously distract myself, my subconscious is aware that we’re lifting off, leaving the ground. Virgos are earth people, not water or air. We have a hard time finding equilibrium when seeking adventures, and although we’re aware all will be fine, there’s that one paralyzing moment.
The hot chili spit up and splat on the webbing between the thumb and the pointer. Another shot into the right eye. The better eye; the one without the early clouds of cataracts. “My eyes! My eyes!” She screamed, but no one heard. It burned, not only from the heat but from the hot sauce. The special homemade kind with peppers from the Caribbean. She splashed her eye with cold water. It accelerated the formation of a bubble between the thumb and pointer, where the first splat had landed. Her family, though, feasted on the chili without ever learning of her cooking wounds.
How does a girl find self-love when the mother constantly calls her ugly? Not in those exact words. More like, “You think my daughter is good looking? You should see her sister.” Or to a potential beau, “Are you sure you’re asking for the right girl?” Or directly to the girl, “Wise up or your sister will steal your husband.” It does something to a girl’s spirit when unfairly compared especially when the father smiles sadly as if in agreement. The girl wears a mask to hide her pathetic self and wonders what are they really saying about their daughters?