My Hero

My Hero by Tasha Lower

He doesn’t want me to dress in front of the window. “They can see you.”

Who?”

They. Whoever lives in the tree out there. Horny anthropomorphized raccoons. Lascivious tree gnomes. Catcalling snakes. The whole menagerie of male-modeled mythical creations. I lean over to scrub a towel down my sides. All they can do is chitter. All they can do is make noise. The only evil we’ve ever invited here are his ex-girlfriends.

Every other second of every other day I am aware of them and worse. The minotaur that sits smoking outside of his apartment on the path to the grocery store. He still hasn’t bleached the blood stains from his horns. Hordes of teenage imps who tug locks of my hair and demand my phone number. Even the laundry room. Even the stairwell. Who knows what specters might wedge themselves sideways between the water pipes and HVAC of these ticky tacky walls.

“I don’t care.” There is a certain comfort that comes from being claimed. A rescued princess. I pull on my nightgown, climb into bed, brush and brush my mile-long hair. I watch TV shows about the ones who didn’t make it. Dead bodies found wandering highway ditches. The horrifying details of grinding girl bones to make bread. He says that I am morbid.

Go polish your sword,” I tell him. I smile. I can smile. I can sit quietly. I don’t fight evil. I do refuse fear.