By Gabby Norris
“Her steps must’ve been light today. Death always seems to come heavy in the night, but it awoke her with a kiss this morning” (77).
What struck me most about this quote, and this piece in general, is the switch between first and third person at the start of each new paragraph. Given the title and content of this work, the first thought that came to my mind was the concept of dissociation, where one experiences an out of body moment brought on by intense feelings of depression. In these moments of severe depression, the brain chooses to separate one from the body they are in in hopes of minimizing the trauma that they experience. The narrator in this story might feel like herself one moment, and then feel forced to refer to herself as “she” the next because she doesn’t even identify with the body she’s in.
Another idea that entered my mind is the existence of another girl, as hinted at by the plural “girls” in the title. Perhaps the narrator’s story is being intertwined with that of another girl who has already chosen to end her life. In this reading, there is an eerie foreshadowing that follows the unidentified girl’s last day alive before committing suicide as we are also brought along on the narrator’s day, insinuating that is is also her last. Perhaps neither of these readings are correct and perhaps the truth is something else entirely. Rodriguez could very well be intending to leave it up to the best guess of each reader, allowing them to pick the version that best suits their interests. Either way, I think this is a fantastic piece that is a part of an even better collection that’s both truthful and entirely compelling.