• Megan Quirk

a city of cinematic rebirth [by a woman]

once, a couple months ago

someone saw me walking down the street, and

later told me i had looked really put together. i acted surprised,

but i’d be lying if i said i hadn’t known the exact moment she was

talking about. truth is, on days i’m sad i blast music through headphones and strut through the city like the main character in the movie that would be my life if i cut out the parts too pathetic to show on screen. someone sees me from the distance and i am put together. in this movie, i am a woman who has buried her heart under the skyscrapers that captured it. i do not cry on the subway as a stranger tries to pretend i don’t. nobody sees me keep giving my heart to a city and the boy that owns it and leaving empty-handed, so it doesn’t happen.

i used to have this therapist before i moved out of the suburbs thinking

bright lights could fix things— or at least change them. one time he said to me, “there’s not much to pleasing a man [boy]; girls just show up, do their thing, and they’re satisfied.” i don’t know why the most frightening part of his statement had been that he had been digging deep within me, and all he had found was a secondary character to a boy. i’m starting to think he wasn’t a very good therapist, but still i learned from him. actually, i’m also starting to think we don’t actually learn much at all, we just change how we look at things. so maybe eventually i’ll write another movie and this time you’ll be a man and not a boy.

but in this movie, i am put together. i am a woman not a girl and there is no change needed. i do not give my heart to you. there is no you, or maybe there is but our storylines never cross. there are tears on the subway but never about a boy, just the woman and who she’s becoming. a stranger comforts me and i do not leave the city empty-anythinged. i don’t leave at all, the lights fix me the way nothing else has. and maybe in this movie, the credits roll and this time i have kept enough of myself to finally be named.

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