Obsession is something that happens to people who aren’t so together. You have a full time job. Forty hours, on the nose. A four-door sedan—moderate, comfortable. You sit in rush hour for forty minutes, both ways, every day. You eat four meals, usually. Your life is full of four. This. That.

You aren’t obsessed.

You look at her Internet accounts at least four times a day, but generally a lot more. You tell yourself not to. You tell yourself it’s unhealthy. You make yourself feel bad.

Obsession happens to people who don’t have a reason in their life. You have two dogs. A cat. Friends. Family. Your life is full to bursting at the seams and still, you keep looking for more. More of yourself. How to be more, always, more. Always the best. Always on top. Always in charge. Always in control. Always.

You aren’t obsessed.

She has perfect eyeliner and red lips, and you suspect he might find her more attractive than he lets on, but you know he loves you uncontrollably, unconditionally. So, you aren’t really bothered, not really. But you want to grab those parts of her that are reflected in yourself and amplify them times a hundred, to shine a light through her prism so that it reflects rainbows on the wall. You want to be the rainbow. You want everyone to stop and take a second glance, snap a photo. Text their friend about what they saw today.

Obsession happens to people with nothing better to do in their lives. People with holes to fill, with gaps to mortar. With a need for stitches in their hearts and maybe their minds, too, because those tend to go hand in hand with that sort of thing. You’ve got it together. You’re moving forward. You haven’t indulged in any of the bad habits in weeks, months, years. You’re so much more than that.

You aren’t obsessed.

You lay awake in bed at night and think about her while the cars passing by cast filtered light across your ceiling in the dark and make you dizzy with longing. You aren’t obsessed. You practice lining your lips just so, before you scrub the whole thing away. You pass your hand across your reflection like, if you could see a little bit clearer, maybe it will make more sense. You aren’t obsessed. You lie on your bed and wrap your fingers around your hip bones and wonder why you can’t see yourself the way you see her, the way others see you. You aren’t obsessed. You would be her friend in another life. Her lover. Her confident. You aren’t obsessed.

You aren’t obsessed.

You just want what you see in her for yourself. You just want to touch something beautiful, hoping it will rub off on you. Hoping that in time, maybe you would come to see yourself as beautiful, too.

You aren’t obsessed with her.

You’re obsessed with yourself.

You’re obsessed with Perfection.

You’re obsessed with The Impossible.

She’s just the flavor of the week.




Amanda Rose is a thirty-something solitary soul who thrives in dark green and shadowed places dappled with sunlight. Genderqueer, bisexual gray ace & perpetually in pain, she spills bits of herself in ink and image and occasionally pulls them out to show the world. Her work can be found previously in Bitterzoet Magazine and upcoming in the October issue of Ink In Thirds Magazine. Her current homes on the internet are, @feralbby on Twitter and @feralbaby on Instagram.


Vagabond City Literary Journal

Founded in 2013, we are a literary journal dedicated to publishing outsider literature. We publish art, prose, reviews, and interviews from marginalized creators.