I am the juice box girl. I like my anonymity. I hide behind my thick rimmed glasses that point up slightly at the sides. I weigh my wrists down with dozens of bracelets, all different colors, made of plastic, metal, leather, and fabric. I hide behind my hip slung jeans and rock n roll tshirts. My hair is almost always pinned up in an accurately messy way. I walk down the street trying not to swing my arms. Secretly, I want to look like a model, but I am in reality that fashionable geek girl winding her way to the record exchange, invisible to anyone who may try to see me.
They will squint their eyes, but they will never perceive me.
He stood beside me in the subway, sipping his juice box, eyeing me, scrutinizing me. I glared sideways at him and willed him away from me. I willed myself invisible. We got crammed into the same subway car and pressed together with the crowd of people. I grabbed the railing as we whisked away. He kept drinking his juice box.
I didn’t understand why he was looking at me so intently. He can’t see me. People know that I’m not there, they accept that. They glance at me and quickly advert their eyes. That’s just how it is. But he looked into me, not through me. He grimaced, and then smiled. His lips parted around the straw.
“You are not what you think you are. You are much greater than the way you see yourself, but you are also less than that. You are not something to be poured out onto another’s heart. You will have to be taken from slowly. Savored. And then, and only then, will you know that that person really and truly sees you. Don’t be afraid to let someone drink from you. You are the juice box girl.”
He got off at the next stop.
He is right. I am the juice box girl. I will never let you take gulps from me again.