The man at the bodega calls me baby.
Is that all for you, baby?
That’ll be five-oh-seven, baby.
Here’s your change, baby.
I want to say I’m not your baby.
I want to punch him in the dick.
I want to curl up and cry, like a baby.
The man on the street calls me Red because of the color of my dress.
What’s good, Red?
Where you going, Red?
You lookin’ real fine today Red.
I never liked the way I look in red.
I never asked him what he thought.
I never want to leave my house again.
The man in the bar calls me Blondie.
You here with anyone, Blondie?
Can I buy you a drink, Blondie?
Your skin sure feels soft, Blondie.
I am fidgeting beneath his gaze.
I am screaming behind my closed mouth.
I am squirming beneath his meaty hands.
Brooke is is a Brooklyn-based research assistant, nonfiction writer, and aficionado of The West Wing. Her work has been previously published by the Santa Fe Writer’s Project, and she was a finalist for their 2013 Nonfiction Award. You can find her on Twitter.