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Behind Bars

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I like taking long walks at night because I feel bolder under the cover of darkness than when
everywhere is bright. In the light, people can see flaws in my features easily, and I have lots of
them. I wish I could change so many things about myself but at the moment I can’t. Maybe when
I can afford plastic surgery…? But I’m terrified of hospitals, so that may not work out for me. I
guess I’m stuck being the way I am. I have a great family, and I know they love me. Mom tells
me I’m beautiful every day, and dad calls me his little princessa. I’m not little anymore, I’m 24,
but he still calls me that. As much as I love them, I don’t believe them when they say I’m
beautiful. Why are they trying to deceive me? Who do they think they’re fooling? I have a mirror,
you know? And I’m not 5 anymore. Anyway, that’s why I like walking at night. Sometimes when
I’m walking, I’m smiling. The wind blows past me and I smile because no one can really see me.
I mean sure, they can see me, but not clearly enough to see all the flaws. I feel normal when I
walk at night. I hate the day time.
A list of my flaws? Ha! My flaws are endless, but I’ll mention a few: I’m a lot bigger than other
girls, and shorter too. I’m five feet nothing. Who would want to be five feet and big like me? Also,
have you seen my face? It’s like a child was given a black marker and told to draw circles and
color them in. There is no smooth, clear surface on my face. It’s all bumps and marks. Hideous.
To make things worse, I’m light skinned. So all the marks are prominent. Perhaps if I was a
darker version of brown, the spots wouldn’t look this bad. I started struggling with acne when I
was 8. Who starts out that early? I was hoping that once I got past my teenage years it would go
away. I’m 24 and there is no sign of relief. I’ve put aside my fear of hospitals and seen numerous
doctors for this. Nothing has worked. Now I hear that when I have children, the pimples will
finally disappear. When my elder sister tells me this, I chuckle. Might as well remove kids from
the equation. Who would want to marry me let alone have children with me? You know, I used to
think that by now I would be married, or getting close. I’ve dreamt of being the princess bride
since I was 3. So much for dreaming. This is part of what hurts the most; that I may never see
that dream come true. What princess is fat and ugly? I’m not articulate either. I stutter. I tend to
stay quiet a lot because of it. I’ll admit that my stutter isn’t so bad, but it’s there. And I hate it.
Oh, and have you seen my one large eye? It used to be a family joke. I used to be called one-
eyed Felix because I have an eye that is larger than the other, and it’s painfully obvious. And let’s
not even get started with the name. It’s a boy’s name. My parents named me Felix and my elder
sister got Patricia! How fair is that? They thought I would be a boy, but even after I was born and
they could clearly see I was a girl, the name stayed. I also have no breasts. I mean, I do, but they
are so small. It makes me disproportionate because I’m probably the only fat girl without breasts
in the world. I could go on and on with the things that are wrong with me. But I don’t want to
break down and cry. So I’ll stop here now.
The things I like to do? I…I like, no, love listening to music. I do everything with music: read, work,
do chores, walk, everything! I also like to write. Not surprising since I don’t like to talk right? I like
writing because it helps me escape me. When I write I can create the perfect girl, with the
perfect life. I can create a perfect world, where people aren’t judged based on physical
appearance. I can put my daydreams to paper, but it can also be a painful thing. Several times,
I’ve cried bitterly after reading one of my short stories because I’m thinking, “this is great, but
this can never be me.” Writing can be a blessing and a curse, reminding me of all the things I
love but may never be able to have, like marriage, a family, friends and just pure happiness,
whatever that is. Anyway, as you’ve guessed, I also like taking long walks. I used to take early
evening walks every day, but the stares were disconcerting. I felt so self-conscious, so aware of
my ugliness that I stopped. Now I walk at night, when it’s dark. I can tell you I feel much better. I
enjoy watching movies and role-playing…with myself! I’m also goofy. My family knows that. I like
to play silly games and make a fool of myself at home. I can actually be fun. Ha! Surprising isn’t
it? I believe that the only times I feel a semblance of happiness are when I’m home and when
I’m walking. However, I still have frequent bouts of depression. I’ve struggled with it for as long
as I can remember, it’s now a companion. I can feel really happy one minute, but somewhere in
my head is the knowledge that depression is lurking around and will turn up shortly, so even in
that moment of happiness, I’m mentally preparing myself to accommodate my partner,
depression. I’m used to it. I don’t think I will ever be free of it. Or she. Or him. Whatever
depression is.
I’m currently out of a job, which is good. I hated going to that office every morning and
interacting with those colleagues whom I knew were talking about me behind my back. I just
knew. I never overheard them or anything, but my instinct…. Anyway, I was fired two weeks ago.
I was becoming rather unproductive. I’d come in late, after spending hours on the bed pondering
whether to call in sick or not. This struggle happened every morning. I would end up going to
work after I talked myself into realizing that I had used up all my call-in-sick tactics. I was always
the first one out of there though. I couldn’t wait for 4 pm. Even though most days I still had work
to do, I would storm out once it was 4. My boss did me a favor by firing me. He probably did
himself a favor too. Now I stay home in my room and write. I’m working on a book. Once I’m
done I will have to find an agent and hopefully get it published. I’m seriously contemplating a
writing career because nobody will need to see my face. I can bask in the comfort of solitude
and write my heart out and feel productive. So, that’s my plan for now.
Plans for the future? Hmmm. Besides being an author, I’d love to have a family someday. There
are methods by which I can do that without getting married, because I know that will never
happen. I’m thinking of using the services of a sperm bank and undergoing artificial insemination.
My fear of hospitals has kept me from doing so yet, add to that the need to make enough money
to care for whatever children I bring to this world. Adoption? No. No adoption for me. I guess
there’s something in me that wants to know that I can produce something beautiful. You know, if
I can give birth to a beautiful, normal kid, maybe I’ll feel less like I do now, you understand?
Adoption is great, but I don’t think it will satisfy my longing to see something good come
through me. I mean, I hope the book I’m writing will be something beautiful, but I also want a
baby, no, babies very much. Why do I think I will love a child when I have such intense self-
loathing? I just know. I have so much love to give, it breaks my heart that I don’t give myself any.
Maybe that’s why I want a family, so that I can channel all that love somewhere. I have to start by
loving myself? Well, that’s hard right now. Maybe one day.
What’s happening in my family that I’m excited about? Patricia’s baby is coming. It’s a boy and
he’s due in about two months. I wasn’t at Patricia’s wedding because I didn’t want to ruin all the
beauty and splendor with my awkwardness and ugliness. It hurt that I couldn’t attend her
wedding, but I was doing her a favor. We argued about it constantly in the weeks leading up to
the wedding. She wanted me as her maid of honor, and I stood my ground. I wasn’t even going
to be there as a guest let alone a maid of honor. I won. But I would really love to see her baby.
She wants me there when she gives birth, so I’m excited about that. I’m looking forward to that.
Do I realize I’m locked in a self-made prison? No. I know I’m locked behind bars, but it’s not of
my making. It’s the prison made by society. There is this perception of what ‘normal’ or ‘wild
type’ is, so I’m considered a mutant, an anomaly. I walk on the street and I sense eyes boring
holes behind my back, or I see people shielding their children from me like I have some disease.
I’m very healthy by the way. I hear people whisper to each other when I pass by. I’ve been body-
shamed on social media countless times. Someone actually told me to go and kill myself
because I’m too ugly to walk the earth. I closed all my social media accounts. I have tried to kill
myself several times. I must be so unlucky that even my attempts to kill myself were never
successful. I used to cut myself. I still do, but not as frequently as when I was in school. School
was the worst! I’m quite proud of the fact that I braved all that ridicule and graduated in the end
with a degree. I have Patricia to thank for pushing me every time I wanted to give up. I have
countless scars on my body from the cutting. Mostly on my upper and lower arms, and my
thighs, my large thighs. The most recent cut happened two weeks ago when I got fired. I felt
worthless that day, and for several days after that. I think I’m better now. I started writing last
week and I’m OK. I’m starting to come to terms with my fate. I don’t fit into any standard. I’m fat
but flat chested; I’m short with unequally sized eyes. I stutter when I talk. My face is irritating. It
makes me look dirty when I’m actually a clean person. I don’t like any sport. I prefer being
cooped up at home than being out. Society has no place for me so I guess prison is it. And here I
I have the love of my family. I tell myself it should be enough. They are the ones who matter, not
strangers on the street. But it’s extremely difficult to brush off the snide remarks, the hostile
glares, the callous gestures, as if it’s somehow my fault that I look the way I do. When no one
wants to sit next to you in a bus, or you can’t even attract the opposite sex, when you leave the
comfort zone that is home and experience the real, harsh world, then you realize that these
strangers do matter. Are they important? No. However, what they think becomes very important.
So important, that you start to believe them and disbelieve your family. After all, they are the
majority, not your family. So I know I have the love of family, and I will always be beautiful to
them, but I also think they are wickedly deceitful in telling me I’m beautiful when I’m not. And I
hate them for that sometimes.
What message do I have for the world? My name is Felix Anamosa. I’m not a boy! Remember
my name, buy my book and read it when it comes out. And if you are a guy out there with
amazing genes and would like to donate some sperm, please contact me.


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