On The Night You Were Angry

Fiona Haborak

In the reflective glass, you spy a distorted version of yourself. An agitated woman stares back. So, you shrink a little further into yourself, shoulders hunched to avoid attention. Dark circles hang under your eyes far heavier than your Burlington bag bargain find. Cheap, purple earbuds jostle with every stop announced over the intercom. You sigh and shuffle closer to the sliding doors to make for a swift exit.

You must be tired of the songs they write about girls: the ones you will never be. You’re drowning in your oversized sweater, your woolen suit of armor. 

You’re tired of the way these young Bushwick men masquerade as old poets while downing their Jack to scribble down the cliché (re: furiously type in a beatnik Starbucks with a Venti drink from hell, a game of wannabe pretend) while the ash trickles from their waning cigarettes.

You’re tired of the wolves that view all women as Aphrodite fresh out of the bath: dripping wet and curvy, but not too curvy. The ideal Salomé must always show her hungry ribs.

These degenerates focus on their rejection and anger when you waltz on by their lives and starved eyes despite only being a stranger on the subway, on the street, in the stores where you can’t get a moment’s peace. It’s exhausting to scurry home, glancing over your shoulder every thirty seconds, taking a different path for your safety, because it’s your fault for wearing heels, for showing your calves in your skirt, for taking up too much space.

You don’t dream of being a muse, you dream of being regarded as a person. After you bolt your door shut, you chuck your purse onto the overstuffed sofa. With a heavy sigh, you collapse, but try your best not to cry.

Tired, darling, doesn’t even begin to describe it.

About the author…

Fiona Haborak

With an appreciation for the mundane, Fiona Haborak finds peace from the chaos of New York City in small-town diners. As a Connecticut native, Fiona received her BA in Sociology at Fairfield University in 2015 with a minor concentration in Art History. She spends her time creating costumes, researching and critiquing popular culture, and consuming obscene amounts of literature. As recent MA graduate from XE: Experimental Humanities & Social Thought at NYU, Fiona’s thesis explored how social media impacted the cosplay community through an Instagram archive and work of art which contextualized her research. Currently, she is applying to PhD programs domestically as well as internationally. Fond of prose, she toys with language in her work.