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I am perfect. It is the only thing I see in the mirror as I tame my morning hair. That is what reflects back at me. That is what plays in my Airpods as I brush my teeth, harder and longer than necessary and as I spit into the sink. 

I’m perfect. And, why would anyone doubt that? I am quiet. I don’t interrupt, I don’t feel my emotions in public or show any sign of negativity. I am a good student. I read books in my free time. I understand the first time something is explained to me. I’ve practiced agreeability and use it as my sword. 

Don’t you see I’m perfect?

When I do talk, which I do unwillingly, I’ll speak quietly. I’ll edit myself as I go. I know as if by instinct what you want to hear, what will turn you away. And then, I’ll laugh when it’s my cue. Iron out my listening facing and repeat this curated personality for you. 

Don’t you see? I’m perfect. 

I am my mother’s daughter. I am my father’s daughter. I fit perfectly in the family portrait. I breeze through reunions, gatherings and dinners. The golden child. I play peacemaker through it all. Or, in times of peace, when I am not needed I will make myself small. I will become the flower vase on your shelf and the portrait on your wall. 

Don’t you see I’m perfect? 

I have a sitcom curated group of friends. One for every punchline. We take on our town. We dance, we drink and we have our lines memorized. They know every boy I’ve kissed. This group and I disguise ourselves with each other. We are Instagram captions and hand painted picture frames. 

Don’t you see? I’m perfect. 

I write my papers weeks before they’re due. I’ve polished everyone’s resumes and mine twice. I cross my T’s and dot my I’s. I am never the problem. I am not the worry line on your forehead. I am the gold sticker, the green pen, the star sparkling at the top of your tree. 

Don’t you see I’m perfect? 

I count my calories. I erase myself. I stop sleeping. I stop dreaming of a different life. I stop speaking. So I don’t tell anyone anything I’m not supposed to let slip. This needle and thread I use to stitch myself up is so that you can relax, not me. 

I am pretty. I have to be. My concealer technique is so perfect even tears don’t disturb it. I coordinate my nails to my smile. I highlight the good parts; my cheekbones, collarbones and the tip of my nose. I cover the bad. I am pretty. 

Don’t you see? I’m perfect. 

I will do anything. Glue every cell of mine in the right place so that you can believe that I’m perfect. I’m perfect. I’m perfect. I’m perfect. I’m perfect. I’m perfect. I’m perfect. I’m perfect. I’m perfect. 

See? 

One tall Kansas goof with a lot of words to share. Busy choosing the path of her favorite resistance, not the path of least resistance.