top of page

essays by Natalie King

“Hi, my name is Natalie King. I am interested in taking some acting classes.”

I was looking in the mirror, rehearsing what I was going to say when the acting teacher answered the phone. I am a mirror-gazing veteran. That’s where I talk to myself and live out all my fantasized situations....

I quickly shut the bathroom door behind me, turn the fan on, load my pipe with high THC sativa, my favorite kind of weed, position myself under the fan so that my husband and kids won’t smell the smoke. Pulling the sweetness into my lungs, feeling the burn I’ve grown to crave, I hold it in until my body convulses. That’s it, things are gonna get much better in a second. I want to feel alluring, sexy, magnetic, and patient. I want to admire myself for a few minutes. I look at my face in the mirror and think I look pretty...


He rolls down the window and stares right at me, eyes going up and down my face, small breasts, and legs. “Hey, baby.” He says it softly, like he is talking to a kitten. The boy in the back has strong, muscular arms, a man’s body, not like the boys my age. He blows out his breath and says, “God damn.”


I am twelve years old, wearing cutoff jeans rolled up just above the knees, a pair of Michael Jordan sneakers, and a white tank top. It’s summertime on San Juan Island. My young, Spanish-looking mom and I are waiting to cross the street when this car full of boy-men in their twenties stops for us.

Mom grabs my hand and yanks me out of a trance and across the street. I look back; now they are all looking at me, at my body. I am aware of the way my backside looks for the first time and how I move when I’m walking. A wave of electricity tingles its way through every cell, changing me in one moment...

bottom of page