Memoirs of a paper girl

Margo contemplates the effect of her leaving Jefferson Park, her feelings for Quentin and her future life.


It had been like 10 days since I left Jefferson Park. I never thought I'd miss it, but I do. The paper thin dreams I had once had – going to University, partying, graduating, getting a job, marriage etc., were all gone, every last one. It breaks my heart to think that I once held onto these thoughts, thinking if I slipped a grade, broke a friendship or said something I aught have not that my whole world would have come crashing down. Those who I loved so dearly were hundreds of miles away, living through their own paper dreams not giving a damn about where I was and what I was doing – except for Q of course. I knew he would; I knew he'd had this infatuation with me ever since we were kids – I mean you had like little kiddie crushes, but then there was Q's. Yeah, I'll admit I remember the time when I thought Q was brave and cute and amazing, but that passed, we grew up – we changed. I realised Q was just some shy, gawky kid that I used to be friends with – nothing more.

I did like Q still, he is cute when he's confident and the grand leaving prank was amazing with him, but I could never get past the fact that he wasn't a paper boy like everyone else I knew – he wasn't into getting drunk with his friends, having sex and pulling pranks like us. I'd told him he was a paperboy, that he was his future and that he didn't live in the present. In retrospect, he was 3-D one; he was real and my sheer jealousy over this towards him is something so 2-D and I will never get over that.

He wanted me to stay; he wanted to have more Margo Roth Spiegelman adventures – but his adventure was a different idea to my own. He wanted to get his heart racing again, so much that he'd have to stop at 7-Eleven parking lots in the middle of the night and hold his fingers to his neck to calm down. He wanted to be involved with the planning, the execution and the (sometimes) violent aftermath. He wanted his fictitious version of me all to himself – and I could not let him have it because when he'd look closely at the stitching of Margo, he'd realise the real Margo is not the girl he imagined. He saw me in one of those funhouse mirrors, distorted to the truth.

But it was a two way street.

I had imagined Q to be so much more of a badass, like me.
But he wasn't. I had misimagined my idea of Q. I had been so caught up in my own fantasy of him that I did too see more of a mirror than a window to Q. I tried to make him more like me, leaving the Whitman, leading him to the Strip Mall, thinking he'd figure it out, and at one point I wanted him to find me, I wanted Q to be the hero I had always thought he would be. The Quentin who jumped in front of the bullet in my story to save me – how ever much I told myself I didn't want Quentin to save me I always knew it was a big fat lie. I wanted my hero, my fairytale like every other paper girl.

But Q is no hero.
I am no princess in need of saving from peril.
My only danger was letting myself become so frailly paper thin that I could never really be repaired. I was already so papery that all my strings had broken and only Cello tape held me together, becoming literally, more Cello tape than paper, more plastic than person. Q could never fix me – and I didn't want to hurt him in the process. I cut the final string, I let myself float off and let the updraft carry me off here. I have no one to blame but myself.

I just want people to forget me, let me start a life where I am seen as more of a window than a mirror. I don't want to be a paper girl in a paper town; I want to be real, 3-D, something you can touch which will not break.

But again, this is all but a fantasy.
All I am doing desires a future, not living in the present - A horrible cycle into irreparable brokenness.
I will always be a paper girl, even when not in a paper town.
I will play out my last string searching for realism, but I know in my heart I will always remain a paper person dreaming of things that will never be.