March 2005 / Volume VI / Issue II
Ellen Moynihan

Having been, and then not outgrown
the idea of being unattractive, it was
with some surprise when I began to get hit on.

I was thirteen, walking home from school.
Two or three blocks away,
a man squealing by on a motorcycle began to slow down,
then suddenly gunned the engine. 
When I glanced over, he was grinning like a skull,
and then he whistled. 
I looked quickly away in horror,
not sure what I was fearful of,
but glad he was traveling in
the opposite direction.

I couldnít believe it. 
I looked down at myself. 
What I saw was unremarkable:
I had on a black sleeveless shirt,
black-and-white plaid shorts, Doc Martens. 
My hair was pulled back
into some careless nest. 
My body wasnít great.  It wasnít even really there.
Maybe he hadnít meant me. 
I was the only one walking, though.
But maybe I looked good.  I checked again.  I couldnít tell, and
was shocked that the guy had been so much older than any of the
boys I had futile crushes on at school.

Motorcycles were cool, though, and by the time I reached home
I had decided to be flattered.