A Gift for Everyone: Your Sullen Neice

Coloring

You and she spend a lot of quantity time together. She’s a quiet teenager. She listens to nothing but classic industrial music. She’s fifteen. She’s sullen.

You’ve tried to get to know her better. Like that time at Thanksgiving, when you talked to her about food? You happened to mention that four slices of pie might be fattening. It was a light remark, nothing meant by it. But she said nothing. Her response came that Christmas, when she gave you a beautifully hand-embroidered pillowcase with many flowers and pies and the words, “F#@! YOU AND YOUR FASCIST BEAUTY STANDARDS” hand woven into it (except the F#@! was actually the real letters). You loved it. You use it every day to decorate your special antique chair in the foyer.

ColoringThat time she stayed with you for a few weeks, she was awfully quiet. You didn’t know what to do with her, so you bought her a dreary book of haiku poetry with coloring pages. And she took a bag she had, full of 38 different shades of grey pencils, and she made all of the coloring pages look like black and white photographs. In between the pages, she twirled her long black hair in her pinky finger and stared forlornly off into the distance, and then she went back to her coloring. She colored every single page.

She says she wants to come and stay again, next summer.

Shoshanah Marohn
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