NaPoWriMo #26

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Guys Like a Positive Attitude

Jennifer said it in high school.  In my
memory she’s doing her hair, crimping every
painstaking bit of it and Aquanetting it
to a spiky web.  Guys like a positive 
attitude. Was she serious?  Sometimes 
she would say things that she meant 
seriously but which sounded funny.  
I think she was saying it as a true fact, 
as something she had noticed.  For years
it went around in my head as something 
funny—my goth friend saying off-handedly
guys like a positive attitude.  At that age
it wouldn’t have occurred to us to wonder
what girls like.  We liked sneaking into the
attic to look at Burt Reynolds in Playgirl from 
the seventies and rolling our eyes.  Oh 
God!  We liked dressing up in Anna’s black 
formals and rolling around on the unmade 
bed taking pictures.  We liked reading novels.
Jennifer was reading The French Lieutenant’s
Woman for school.  I remember seeing the
movie around that age and wondering about 
all the waiting.  How romantic to possibly be 
ruined by love.  But really it was sex that would 
have ruined her.  I read everything I saw, 
my mom’s copy of  The Hotel New Hampshire
anthologies at Anna’s house.  Once I tucked 
myself into a corner and read Cancer Ward
by Solzhenitsyn before dinner at Anna’s cousins’.
They had a whole room attached to the living room 
that was just books and a piano. I remember 
reading a story by Dorothy Parker called
 “The Big Blonde” one Saturday at Anna’s and 
looking up dazed, thinking, “Oh.  How very sad.”  


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