People Who Have Wronged Me: A Non-Comprehensive List by Tara Roeder

The Woman on the Yoga Mat in Central Park
I was five. My sister and I were playing tag. She looked at us in disgust. Please keep those children away from me, she said to my parents. I’m trying to do yoga.

The High School Teacher
I was 15. She ran the literary magazine. I wrote a not very good, though completely original, poem about a house in the country inspired by my family’s recent trip to Vermont. She told me she knew she’d read it somewhere, though she couldn’t say where, and refused to publish it.

The 7-11 Cashier
I was 21. She refused to sell me a bottle of wine because my ten year old sister, who wanted to buy some Ring Dings, was in the vicinity. She appeared to take great pleasure in being able to utter the phrase “accompanied by a minor.”

Dr. B.
I was 25. I froze up on the examining table of illustrious gynecologist Dr. B. Unable to complete my exam, she looked at me coldly. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to get an appointment with me? she asked.

 

Tara Roeder is an Associate Professor of Writing Studies in New York City. Her work has been published in venues including Cheap Pop, MonkeyBicycle, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, and The Bombay Gin. She has chapbooks forthcoming from dancing girl press and Bitterzoet Press.