the brutal language of love-alicia erian

“I, too, was different. Having replaced my malfunctioning key word with an unsensible diet, compulsive exercise, and moderate vomiting, the pounds had finally begun to drop off. My mother was elated and to celebrate taught me how to shave my legs and apply makeup. The word around school was that I was now officially pretty and could finally be treated as such. I thought this would mean dates and parties, but really it just meant no one threw me into lockers anymore or call me names, which would be unseemly at our ages anyway. Ultimately the past haunted us all, and no one was prepared to nominate me for elective office or drop my name in the hat for homecoming queen. I became the leader of a group of smart girls and closeted gay boys, all of us sexually frustrated.” (34)


One thought on “the brutal language of love-alicia erian

  1. “Through all this, Jennings started to become a different person. In school, he was crueler to me than ever before, or so it seemed. We staged scenes where he shoved me against lockers for being so fat, then caught me just before I hurt myself and banged his own fist against the metal, so it just sounded bad. He grabbed me in front of his friends and whispered threats in my ear, which were really words of love such as, I can’t wait to see you this afternoon. When we were alone, he told me he wanted to be a stunt coordinator when he grew up, so this was all just practice for him. He assured me constantly that my main problem was not so much that I was fat, but that I smelled bad, which I appreciated, since at least I could do something about that.” (25)

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    “He and my mother behave as if they’re married, though Dr. Mondo is already married to someone else and my mother swore off men after my father left her years ago for a woman much heavier than she. This, my mother announced, was a personal affront, since at least if he was going to dump her he might have done so in a way that indicated her appearance was at fault, and not her company.” (188)

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    “In return he offered her nothing. There were no more grades left, no student loans. Furthermore, he had clearly come to understand that she wouldn’t retaliate. She had never once complained about the D he had given her, never hinted she even knew of the trouble she could cause him. And now here he was, looking to gratify himself at her expense. Asking him for a freebie. She had complied not out of fear or hopelessness, but rather gratitude, for at last she felt herself to be depleted, empty, and in need.” (15)

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