LILY FRITSCH

High heels, bright colors, and red lipstick

ELECTRIC GIRL

            It was new, it was electric, it was dangerous. I had never felt so alive, so independent, and mostly, cool.

            I was downtown. By myself. It was 12:15 in the morning. I felt calm. My bus came in fifteen minutes, the last of the night. Nothing could stop me.

            Seven blocks. Seven blocks that I flew on wings made of confidence and Korean pop music. I winked at men I would normally shrink from, and tossed my hips extra while I walked the electric seven blocks.

            For the Electric Seven, I had an agenda. I had places to be, I was organized, I had my stuff together. I was reliable, but fun. I could be counted on. I was a great friend, a good daughter, a good person.

            For the Electric Seven, I was happy.

            For the Electric Seven, I could be or do whatever I wanted. I was overtaken by some current, some swift moving current that I couldn’t pull myself from and didn’t want to, because this electric girl, she was going places.

            This Electric Girl, wow.

            I might’ve been scared, being alone downtown past midnight, but this Electric Girl, for those Electric Seven, she was fearless.

            This Electric Girl, this flying, jumping bean, Korean pop, hip swinging girl was everything that my steady baby, pen and paper, bubblegum self wasn’t.

            She could take my place. She could live my life while I faded to nothing. Face the things I couldn’t, say the things I wouldn’t, do the things I shouldn’t.

            Could those Electric Seven make up for the static seventeen years I had already put in? They had to. They just had to.

            But the Electric Seven ended, and I got on the number 14 bus, headed for the 23rd block, walked 1 minute, and got in bed at 1:15. The Electric Girl stayed up all night, but I fell asleep at 1:30.

            This Electric Girl walked the Electric Seven over and over as I slept, and each time she lost a little of her spark, her lightning flashed farther and farther away, and her electric glow faded.

            Finally, she faded to nothing, and I took her place, I lived her life. I faced the things she couldn’t, said the things she wouldn’t, did the things she shouldn’t.

            And that girl, wow.