At 10, she is hospitalized for something that isn’t there. She hopes she has something to make her different. At 16, she mixes vodka with orange juice and mouthwash. She doesn’t know about the effects of fluoride long term. At 20, her blonde hair is matted in places. She cuts it above the kitchen sink midday with no mirror. Her mother calls. She does not answer. At 24, the deep fryer stains the skin of her forearms red and pink and yellow. It stings but she says nothing. It blisters and her skin mushrooms with translucent liquid at night. At 30, she drinks wonton soup in her bedroom while watching television. The movie used to make her cry when she was young. Her face is dry, the only wetness apparent on her body the leaking of her nostrils. She does not wipe it, does not blow her nose. It is pointless anyway. At 37, she meets a man, and then a woman. They are married but say that they want her. She does not believe them at first. They make her chili from scratch and brush her hair at the dinner table like she is twelve. Her mother does not call anymore. Her phone is a scratched motorola razr. At 39, the woman and then the man put their hands between her legs. She does not stop them. Homemade wonton soup dribbles down the front of her white button down. At 40, she is hospitalized for something that is there. She hopes she has nothing to make her different.
Ananya Kumar-Banerjee is a young woman of Indian origin from New York City. Her essays and poetry have appeared in such journals as Sprout Magazine, Textploit, Crack the Spine, Paper Darts, Crab Fat Lit Mag. Ananya’s works have also won numerous awards including the Alan Breckenridge Award for the Personal Essay, the Paul Bloch Award for Creative Writing and multiple Scholastic Art & Writing Keys. She is prose reader at Red Queen Lit Mag and thoroughly enjoys reading experimental work. Ananya has recently been exploring fiction mood writing. She looks forward to summer in New York City, when everything will turn to her favorite color: green.