I’ve recently taken to writing down my thoughts

Photo by Simon Daoudi / Unsplash

by Katie Baughman

I fear I’ve forgotten what it feels like to fall in love with anybody but myself.

It’s a fear my father’s former marriage therapist

says is unfounded.

Former, only because he unfortunately split

with his third wife last month.

But i won’t let his inability

to abstain from infidelity

affect mine to accept

the guidance she gives,

so she continues to be my unofficial therapist,

and recommends I start a journal

to deal with the whole

self obsession thing.

Technically, I don’t pay her. Why should I?

I, like him,

have never taken her advice.

Independently, in an attempt

to be a little more self aware,

I’ve recently taken to writing down my thoughts

in a pocket-sized journal

like the kind of pretentious asshole

you’d usually find

raising his hand in the front row of a Women

& Gender Studies class for his fifteenth

comment of the day.

My journal probably contains just as much narcissism.

But don’t worry, I haven’t

taken to reading it aloud to anybody


Yesterday, in my Women & Gender Studies class,

we went around the room round robin style

airing grievances about the patriarchy

and another front row white boy took a break from

writing in his pocket-sized leather bound poetry journal to jump in

and entertain the class with a tale about thanksgiving with

his racist uncle. And the white teacher

who probably keeps her own leather-bound poetry journal

half-tucked away under a stack of blank papers she keeps around to appear busy

hears the story about the white boy’s racist uncle and says

I’m sorry that happened to you.

And I hate to say anything at all about Women & Gender Studies

because I am of the sound and unwavering opinion that it is

a legitimate degree, with legitimate

classwork, that is very likely just as challenging and legitimate as

the classwork from the mechanical

engineering or pre-med tracks, especially seeing as probably

eighty percent of male gynecologists, for example,

would likely greatly benefit from a few classes themselves.

But, also, I can’t help but share this tale

as my own airing of grievances about the patriarchy, because

it is the embodiment of self-righteous

disingenuous drivel that’s seen in all the stereotypes

about Women & Gender Studies.

And so, after a lot of thought, and a lot of

writing in my leather-bound poetry journal,

I have come to the very carefully balanced and fair conclusion

that I will complain about my Women & Gender Studies class

And then you can share with your Women

& Gender Studies teacher what a

whiny bitch I am, and then she can tell you that she’s Sorry

that this all happened to you.

Sometimes, I wonder if I am the son of God.

Which sounds silly, I know,

but last week I convinced myself I was going to

become a falcon tamer,

so maybe I’m just very slowly moving in the right direction.

Or maybe, I’m the second coming

of Christ.

Either way,

I can’t help but think of how proud

my unofficial therapist is going to

be of me for doing all this introspective

bullshit. So, to remind me to remind

her of this, I’m writing a note in my leather-bound poetry journal

as I sit at a sticky IHop table alone

for my third birthday in a row.

Next year, I’ve decided to go to Waffle House, like Walter White.

Katie Baughman is from Missouri. She currently studies English in NYC. Her work is forthcoming in MoonPark Review, The Broadkill Review, & Alt Milk Mag. She has two cats. :)