She Has A Tattoo On The Inside Of Her Wrist

In plain block letters it says, “never give up,” but she gives up all the time. She started jogging once and quit after about seven minutes. She tried to eat better for a while, more leafy greens and shit, but there she was in a shopping mall food court eating sweet and sour pork at Wok N’ Roll. She gave up on therapy. She gave up on saving money. She gave up on saying “please.” She gave up on radio, the institution of marriage and deodorant, after all that stuff about aluminum and Alzheimer’s. She gave up on the Olympics for obvious reasons. She’s never given up smoking, but that probably doesn’t count.

She’s given up on working. She can’t keep a job for more than a couple months, mostly because she hates customers. She doesn’t think she has the credentials necessary for a job without customers. She gave up on relatives and friends when they stopped calling to check on her. She gave up on strangers after she was robbed in a convenience store. You could say she’s given up on people. She’s definitely given up on people.

She gave up her son once.

Or maybe it was her daughter. Possibly neither, because those times back east were a blur. She barely remembers being pregnant, let alone giving birth, but it comes back to her in dreams, through a lens smeared with Vaseline. She can see the hospital room and hear the voices but she doesn’t recognize anyone and can’t understand the words because they’re Deutsch. Sie ist sehr jung, sehr jung. She made some calls back there two years ago, after the dreams started happening, but of course no one was left. They evaporated like contrails. She used to know everything about them but now she doesn’t even remember how she met them or why she went there in the first place. Was that where she gave up on love? Where she gave up on playing the guitar? Was that where she got this stupid fucking tattoo, the one on the inside of her wrist? She can’t remember, so she looked into getting it removed, found out how much it would cost. It’s really pretty reasonable these days.

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