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The Other

Paul Albano | Cara Lynch

I wake up and my chest feels heavy because there are breasts sticking out of it because I am a woman. I go into the bathroom to prepare myself for the day. This takes a considerable amount of time. I put on makeup to make my face look better, and then I comb my hair which is long because I am a woman and not a man with long hair. Then I look at myself in the mirror and I see a face staring back me with womanly cheekbones. This is my face.

When I’m finished, I exit the bathroom for my closet to get dressed. I slide open the sliding doors, and as the wheels scrape against the metal rollers I hear a thunderous friction that sounds like thunder and this reminds me of thunder and other weather things, but also of all the faraway places like Africa and Russia and Brazil, and I feel an intense longing to visit these places and see firsthand the things that are located in these places, and another intense longing that these countries allow women to go there, because I am a woman.

After I get dressed in clothes I walk to the kitchen to make breakfast. I begin by setting out all of the ingredients that individually are not pancakes, but, when combined in specific amounts and then cooked, become pancakes. I combine the ingredients in these amounts and pour them into a pan. I put the pan on the stove, and then I press and turn the buttons and knobs that when pressed and turned in a certain way result in the stove being on and doing whatever the stove is supposed to do, probably heating stuff, which the stove does for as long as is necessary for the pancake ingredients to fulfill their destiny and become real pancakes, like how Haley Joel Osment finally becomes a real boy at the end of A.I.—the second ending, after Ben Kingsly stops narrating and the robots from the future pull Haley Joel Osment from the bottom of the ocean and clone his mother from a piece of hair provided by his sentient teddy bear so Haley Joel Osment can spend all eternity confined to the company of robots from the future and his cloned mother and a sentient teddy bear which is how the movie really ends which I guess means he doesn’t become a real boy so I was wrong about that. Then I eat the pancakes, but even though they taste good I eat less than normal, because I am a woman.

About Paul Albano

Paul Albano is a PhD candidate in fiction writing at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. His work has appeared in monday Night Lit, Paper Darts, and Cream City Review, among other places.

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