She and I

Black and white image of two women looking out a window.

by Victoria Segarra

She wears warm, vibrant colors. I wear cold, muted ones. Her voice is loud and distinct. She often asks me to repeat myself because I’m so quiet. I swipe my card at the station. She hops the turnstiles. She can eat the same meal every day without complaint. I start to gag after a week of the same food. She can hack gaming consoles and fix a computer. Technology infuriates me. I talk to my mother every day. She has gone months without a word to hers.

I’ve been depressed for so long that I’ve forgotten what a spotless mind is like. She has never had depression and winces at my descriptions of it. I loathe myself. She is a self-proclaimed narcissist. She likes politics and the news. I find politics terribly disheartening. She has optimism. My sense of optimism died years ago, hence my disdain of the news. She thinks things will eventually get better. I think the world is shit and it’s only getting worse.

She does get sad. When she talks about her family’s indifference towards her, her eyes get glossy and her voice gets that familiar thickness of anguish. She hardly sees them and they seldom remember her. She is the oldest and the least favorite child. I am the youngest and I’m spoiled rotten. 

Her room is messy, with bottles and cups on almost every flat surface. My room is neat, my floors empty. Messy places make me anxious and she knows this, so she makes sure to clean her room before I come to visit. Sometimes her room is still messy and I finish cleaning the rest while she is at work because I know she hates cleaning. When we smoke together, she holds the lighter for me because she knows I’m scared of burning myself. 

We’re very different. At first glance, we are an odd couple: she with her big, flaming red hair and long legs and me with my dark brown hair standing nearly a foot shorter. But the things we do have in common are things that we have in common with no one else. Neither of us believes in God or astrology or crystals. We find each other’s sense of skepticism refreshing. 

I’m creative. I like to write and occasionally draw. She likes to consume content and says she is glad she doesn’t feel compelled to create. She thinks it’s tiresome. I’m studying creative writing because writing is one of, if not the only thing, I’m good at. I briefly thought about becoming a writer or maybe working in publishing, but I’ve since realized that I have no desire to do such a thing. I think it’s tiresome. I have not a single idea for a story, while she has so many she doesn’t know what to do with them all. 

She likes to talk. I like to listen. I write much better than I talk. When I talk, I stumble over my words, but when I write I can communicate all of my feelings clearly. Her words are confident, her voice deep and warm and certain. 

She picks her nose. She says this is a deal breaker for a lot of people. I find it a disgusting but minor issue. It amazes her that I put up with it. I might have been one of those people once, before I had ever fallen in love, but love puts things into perspective. 

Click here to read the interview of Victoria’s piece “She and I”

Victoria Segarra is a Creative Writing alum from LaGuardia Community College. She is a Puerto Rican woman from the Bronx, where she discovered a love for writing while in middle school.