portion of the artwork for Sommer Schafer's story

I Could Please You
Sommer Schafer

Look here. I’m not married to all this. You could say, “why don’t you lose the ____” or “why don’t you try ____,” and I’d say, “could give that a try.” Because one can always try being someone else for a while. Not like it would have to last; not that one couldn’t simply try something else after a while.

For instance, there was that time when I was 12 and that girl invited me for a sleepover, and though I had never particularly liked sleepovers, I was sure they would fit me like everything eventually does if you give it a little time. We were sitting around the dining table in the dark room as if their electricity had been cut off, her, her younger sister, her father, her mother. I didn’t know them at all. No one was happy, that was clear. The fish sticks were lukewarm at best, and the lot of us seemed to be covered in an opaque dome of silence. Finally, the girl sighed and looked at me. “Well, tell us a story! Why are you so dull?” For the life of me I couldn’t think of a story in that dark silent room. “Oh, let her be,” her father said and took a long pull at his beer.

Whereas now, at my age, I’ve got about a million stories, and I could have told a rip-roarer back then and been the source of untold glee for that dour, sad family, I admit that I’m relieved to be older if only for the fact that now I’m fully aware that my default is to change to suit your desire. That I can always try on something else to please you, when that’s what you want.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 48 | Spring/Summer 2017