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Your Problems Ain’t Our Problems

Your Problems Ain’t Our Problems

Jane-Rebecca Cannarella

Alex and I call it one of two things: “living in the bell jar” or “Sylvia Plathing it.” It was the way we described eating dipped handfuls of peanut butter for dinner, snaking the remains from between the pruney bits of our fingertips. Or when we contact a landlord about the tiny bugs that hide in the folds of our sheets, but he never answers. And that night when I was so exhausted from itching that I sat on the tile of the kitchen floor to fall asleep.

We created a game of volleying pity back and forth. We glorified in exchanging pennies for dollars that bought us shared tall boys of Genesee beer that we called Jenny like she was our girlfriend.

It was the way that we fell in love with over dramatic stomach growls and moans of the Internet being shut off. We created a passion with bank accounts in negative numbers, and made elaborate fantasy evenings with finally-purchased bags of fries. Shoving the hot greasy fingers in our mouths, exaggerating our joy.

It was the way that we fell in love with over dramatic stomach growls and moans of the Internet being shut off. 

And how sometimes after pay days, I’d leave work early to hide the packages of recent purchases before he got back. Who lived in the bell jar more, him or me?

After work on the subway home, a young man yelled into his burner phone. Sylph-like he swayed while he shouted, “Don’t talk shit on my mom. Even if she’s on drugs you can’t talk shit on my mom.”  The subway announced the next station and before he exited he stared at my shirt, it had a cartoon pizza on it. “Can I get that pizza so my mom can have it for dinner?” I looked away. He exited. 

The man across from me made eye contact and said, “Your problems ain’t our problems.”  


Jane-Rebecca Cannarella is an editor at HOOT Review, a cat fanatic, and a Nutella enthusiast. When not poorly playing the piano, she chronicles the many ways that she embarrasses herself at the website www.youlifeisnotsogreat.com. She's a sometimes contributor to the music magazine SSG Music. And she occasionally drinks wine out of a mug that has a smug poodle on it. 

Intro design by Meghan Murphy.

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