by Julie Benesh
Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanity- Sigmund Freud
Boys only want one thing, said Mom, with the killer breasts
that eventually killed her. (They couldn’t help it; she didn’t blame
them, the boys or the breasts.) Crushes will crush you: you will get pregnant,
drop out of school, be a single mother. (She dropped out but only to get married;
I didn’t come along for years.)
I told Dad that when I grew up I’d have a job I liked and he said jobs
were what someone would pay me for, and what anyone liked was called a hobby.
Outlast the bad bosses and I’d be fine. He called me a Jill of all trades
and mistress of none; said if he messed up at work, airplanes
could fall from the sky; who could possibly like that?
She wanted me to be a boss, and mistress of myself. He wanted me to join the army
and study technology, not throw away my education studying the ever-lovin’ humanities.
A half century later they are both not not right:
it’s an everyday miracle that anyone is born,
falls in love, or enjoys their career; that planes
stay in the sky, or that breasts remain attached.
About the Author
Julie Benesh has published stories, poems, and essays in Tin House, Crab Orchard Review, Florida Review, Hobart, Cleaver and many other places. She is a graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College in Writing and the recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Grant. Read more at juliebenesh.com.