This week, I’m also going to post a piece I’ve been working on. This is a flash non-fiction essay I wrote last semester for an assignement, and I’ve been revisiting it lately because I think it needs something more–I just can’t figure out what. That’s where you come in!
It was inspired by an essay I read on Brevity; I used the same sentence structure as the essay for the beginning of each paragraph. Anyway. Here’s the essay. I have the most concerns with the last paragraph. Let me know your thoughts!
This was supposed to be about my sister’s pink chubby toes on the day she was born. It was supposed to be about how her hair grew in, but she looked like she was balding—everything on the sides, nothing on top. It was supposed to be about how those wisps of downy hair turned into Shirley Temple curls that bounced with her Buddha belly when she laughed. She laughed—more than me or my mother or father. She shared her sippy cups with our dog. (I sip; you lick; I sip.) She kissed my face when I cried, and stroked my hair with her baby hands. Those hands, with doll-like dimples where her fingers connected to her palms. This was supposed to be about the child of my mother’s “old age.” Let’s name her Mary Jo. No. Grace.
“She’s here by the grace of God,” my mother said.
Or maybe it was supposed to be about how she packed food into her little backpack because she was constantly afraid she wouldn’t get enough to eat. Maybe it should have been about how we caught her behind the couch with a stick of butter— twice. Or perhaps the day she sat in my closet and chewed an entire box of bubblegum. Maybe this was about her curiosity, her hunger for the world—to taste everything, hold food in her mouth and explore its flavor and texture.
Or maybe it was about something different entirely: she was the surviving twin; doting, loving, never stop loving; she was happy, she made me happy. This is not about (was never about) the morning Grace cried in the tub— three years old, tears mixing with bathwater—because she wanted to be as skinny as her sisters.