Verbal Incarceration

February 11, 2012
Expulsed from a womb on a hazy Sunday morning, she began as an entropic, nebulous sprat (with a distinctly strident panache) who danced through the crayon-strewn floors of kindergarten, hacked through swathes of math worksheets until she reached high school (the land of queen bees and lovely, sweet boys named Andrew), and lolled in her uncomfortably rigid chair as her counselor said, very seriously, that “labels are hard to break”—a statement that she swept under the folds of her expansive brain until after she’d become a college graduate, a Doctor of Philosophy, a surgeon, a soccer mom, a regular volunteer at her local food bank, an aureate Nobel laureate who spoke grandiloquently at commencements, and the treasurer of her sons’ school’s PTA; one day, seeking to quash a viscid bleb of self-doubt/confusion swelling in the pit of her small intestine (likely near the duodenum), she scheduled a postprandial writing session and sat down at a pencil-strewn writing desk thinking to define herself, but found only conformist, procrustean imprisonment as she reread her life sentence.

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