The girl is sick. The girl is sick because she has a fever and is ill. The girl is sick because her notions of right and wrong are wrong. The girl is wrong for fomenting revolution. From her sickbed, the girl contemplates what her life would have been without revolt. Without the need for disgust stewed so deep and insidious in her daily meal of words and glances and cultural consumption that no matter how sick she feels, her fingers can’t go down her throat far enough to vomit it up. Her whole hand has tried, grasping her uvula and tugging, that flap of flesh meant to block meals of hate speech from rising into her nasal cavity and lodging there. Still she didn’t manage, whole fist in her mouth, to disgorge the rot in her belly. Since that time she tried and tugged, her sinuses have gotten infected over and over.
The girl is a symbol. The girl is a symbol because she has a voice and is bodied. The girl is a symbol because her ideas have gained traction with the wrong sort of people. The people are wrong for symbolizing her. From her sickbed, the girl rages against her loss of control. Against her loss of public mobility, existence outside posters and screens. She remembers being a body in the streets, a fist raised high, a stomach ready for blows caught on cameras. She remembers before being shot, before being martyred, before living through death to another side. She remembers when being sick in bed with a running nose and a high fever, remembers running in the streets, high on the adrenaline of revolution and resistance.
The girl is sick. The girl is sick because she has ideals and is brave. The girl is sick because her notions of right and wrong are wrong to the people who decide what right and wrong are in her world. From her sickbed, the girl contemplates escape from symbolism and a return to before. The girl contemplates the value of symbols. The girl remembers a woman older, taller, bigger, stronger, everything she had wanted to be. The girl remembers a woman on the airwaves and screens, on flyers and snapped photographs. The girl wonders where the woman is. Whether the woman ever was. Whether the symbol overtook her too.
The girl is sick. The girl is sick of being a symbol, a martyr, a revel with a losing cause. The girl is sick of being sick. The girl blows her nose, knows she cannot change her status, and contemplates.