For Myself
Zalene Adler

Spring 2021
He asked what I did for myself. I told him I got a pack of cigarettes. One bottle of red. Two lines of white.

Three lines of crimson on my right thigh. I told him I cut my hair a length that did not suit my face. That I

didn’t erase the smudged mascara off my eyes. He asked me how. How can any of these be things that

you do for yourself? He told me that these things aren’t what you do for yourself. He said that these things

are what you do to yourself. I told him no. I am doing these for myself. I told him that others have

destroyed my life. That I didn’t have the choice but to only watch. I told him that things changed now.

That I have the choice now. That my life is now destroyed by myself and not others. I told him it made me

feel free. It made me free to know that I was damaged because I chose to be damaged. He told me that I

should build myself now that I have the choice. I told him I can’t. I don’t know how. I told him that

people have only shattered me. I told him that I wanted to take that power away from them. And so I

shattered myself. I shattered myself so they don’t shatter me. I shattered myself so they don’t have power

over me. If I build myself then they will find me and shatter me. I told him that I was doing this to be free.

I told him that these were the only things I could do for myself.

Monday Nov 5 2018