Sossity Writes

Excerpt from the recently completed hybrid memoir, Honey & Vinegar: Recipe for an Outlaw

by Sossity Chiricuzio

Research

I love libraries. Rooms full of books, made just for books, with answers just waiting to be found. Stories and legends and science and magic. Love and sorrow and laughter and mystery. Safety. There’s no shouting or pushing or competing allowed. No little kids yelling, no grownups too busy to talk. Just helpful librarians and other people reading. Just the world I pick. Like a coloring book in my mind, I fill in the details, and the hero can look like me.

The smell of books, the hidden alcoves at the end of rows, the formed plastic chairs like a cupped hand. My legs going numb from dangling over the hard lip of the seat, my shoulders and head all curved into the world between those covers. Squinting in the light when it flickered, automatically, all attention inward. Almost locked in more than once, so that the librarians learned to check for me in the depths of physical sciences or psychology, any books nobody tends to read, before leaving.

I read the entire Alice in Wonderland series, not just the first part that they made all soft for Disney, the real story. The conflict and the angst and the tension. The confusion. The real stuff dressed up as fiction. I read every book of mythology and find some hints of comfort in goddesses and amazons and warrior queens. I’m looking for the women that aren’t afraid. The girls that are smart. The way out. I travel to Narnia and Pern and Mars and am still disappointed when I get there. It still ends in a kiss I don’t want. A man who knows more. A woman who is a support beam. A cook stove. A baby carriage.

A stranger in a strange land. A woman on the edge of time. The last unicorn.

(Originally published in Vine Leaves Literary Journal, Issue 12, all rights reserved, do not copy or reproduce without the authors permission.)

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