Faye and Liam Go on a First Date

Erin Vachon

When Faye on Love Island said, I’m not, like, a go-hard party girl, but I do like to go out, like, and when I do go out, I go hard, the Cherry Garcia dripped off my lip, because she gets I’m not, like, some sob-sick messy chick, though I do tend to tip, and when I do tip, I sob ’til I’m sick, like while I’m here on this couch, wailing over my worth, if I’ll be loved in this chick-less body, Faye shifts her body-con dress to address her British boredom with a peacocking boy who asks half-baked questions, so now I’m pissed that I’m crying into a tub of ice cream over the same sorts of soggy inquirers, but it’s not, like, I’m some like-me-please! love-hound, but I do like to be loved, like, and when I am loved, I do scream: Like me, please! to my admirers even though I feel judged, so it’s hard to determine where Faye and I differ, because if she finds self-worth in her faux lips, I’ve been faking my self-worth, so here’s how I’m real: I bind myself down. Poetry is my practice, but clearly Faye’s practiced her answer for this exchange again and againwhy does taking pleasure in her going hard encase her into someone else’s hardened noun? If she swallows down chaos before the question is asked, let me spit mosaics in my answers, far beyond this guy lounging across from Faye, across a card table and a millennium of condescending conversation. I’m not like a show-off smart-ass, but I do tend to show off, and when I do show off, I go off, and off and off. If Faye is the subject, we’re the whole sentence. Keep your names. I eat verbs. I’m turning off the television, and I’m going out ‘til dawn because while Faye’s telling off a guy for asking her dumb questions, her plumped-up collagen lips glossy-slick, I’m nodding girl, get it, but I think, I’m not really getting it yet, because if I’m not, like, a sly-nod Barbie girl, I do like to nod, I do like to nod, I do like to nod, but I’m not really a girl, and if I’m too old for all that, I’m not, like, a murky-water mermaid in curls, but I’m not, like, a maid at all. I’m not a woman. I’m the water-world in between the girls and the spray-tan boys, that Panopticon island of two British genders trying to smash poolside on inflatable toys, but if I have no place on this show, still I do like to go out, I do like to go out, I do like to go out, and when I do go out, I go hard.

Erin Vachon is a queer, non-binary writer with disabilities living in Rhode Island, and I’m Best of Net and multiple-Pushcart nominee, published in DIAGRAM, SmokeLong Quarterly, Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Pinch, Brevity, CHEAP POP, and Cream City Review. I’m Hybrid Editor for Longleaf Review and an alum of the Tin House Summer workshop. I received my MA in English Literature and Comparative Literature from the University of Rhode Island. You can find more of my writing at www.erinvachon.com or on Twitter @erinjvachon.

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