Eileen; Ottessa Moshfegh
Penguin Press - 2015
"I looked like a girl you'd expect to see on a city bus, reading some clothbound book from the library about plants or geography, perhaps wearing a net over my light brown hair. You might take me for a nursing student or a typist, note the nervous hands, a foot tapping, bitten lip. I looked like nothing special. It's easy for mr to imagine this girl, a strange, young and mousy version of me, carrying an annonymous leather purse, or eating from a small package of peanuts, rolling each one between her gloved fingers, sucking her cheeks, staring anxiously out the window. The sunlight in the morning illuminated the thin down on my face, which I tried to cover with pressed powder, a shade too pink for mywan complexion. I was thin, my figure was jagged, my movements pointy and hesitant, my posture stiff. The terrain of my face was heavy with soft, rambling acne scars blurring whatever delight or madness lay beneath that cold and deadly New England exterior. If I'd worn glasses I could have passed for smart, but I was too impatient to be truly smart. You'd have to expect me to enjoy the stillness of closed rooms, take comfort in dull silence, and gaze moving slowly across paper, walls, heavy curtains, thoughts never shifting from what my eyes identified--book, desk, tree, person. But I deplored silence. I deplored stillness. I hated almost everything. I was very unhappy and angry all the time. I tried to control myself, and that only made me more awkward, unhappier, and angrier. I was like Joan of Arc, or Hamlet, but born into the wrong life of a nobody, a waif, invisible. There's no better way to say it: I was not myself back then. I was someone else. I was Eileen."
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