I’m watching another YouTube video. “Stop focusing on the life you have,” says the therapist on this video. “Instead, focus on the life you want. The creative power of your mind is immense. Use that power to create what you do want, rather than more of what you don’t want.” Makes sense. But what do I want, what do I want? Not a clue. What do I not want? That’s easy. I don’t want a pair of capri pants. They used to be called pedal-pushers. Ugly then, ugly now. Not wearing them. I don’t want to see another medical company commercial promoting its latest drug with a list of side effects that could maim or kill me. Need I say more? And I don’t want my name. I don’t like it. I’ve never liked it. Don’t ask me what it is. And if you do, don’t laugh when I tell you. Just. Don’t. Okay, my name is Babette. Who would name their kid that? My parents must have hated me. Must have. Babette. Sounds like a hooker from 1950, doesn’t it? A vintage hooker name. Obviously, my parents hated me. Or each other. Had to. Babette. I know what you’re thinking. It sounds like a fancy version of Barbie. A cutesy version. Don’t even go there. I’m warning you. Just. Don’t. Although it could have been worse. What if my mother’s favorite doll had been Barbie’s best friend, Midge? What if she’d named me Midge? Holy cow! Now I’m scaring myself. I should stop. Count my blessings. One. Two. Three.  

Laura Stamps is the author of several novels, short story collections, and poetry books, including IT’S ALL ABOUT THE RIDE: CAT MANIA (Alien Buddha Press) and THE YEAR OF THE CAT (Artemesia Publishing). Muses Prize. Pulitzer Prize nomination. 7 Pushcart Prize nominations. Mom of 5 cats. Twitter: @LauraStamps16. Website:     

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