There’s Something Wrong With Eleanor

Eleanor Bisbee-Downs was a quiet girl. She had a sort of bookish quality that maxim magazine has successfully turned into a hint of barely repressed sexual energy. She was of an unusually pale complexion for her race which history and FHM had told the men in her life comes from sexual frustration. As Jane Austen once eloquently put it, any women self-confident enough to not need male approval and creatively mal-adjusted enough to rather read than hit up a bar must be in need “of a good dicking’” Taken from the Diary of Eleanor Bisbee-Downs 07/11/2013.


There is something wrong with Eleanor…


She waits in her own bedroom for Benjamin to awake from his post-coital stupor and make up some excuse to leave her alone and never call her again. He’s mildly attractive in that boyish way that was becoming popular with upper middle class white guys again. The Carter Fairchilds of world have started taking the preppy style of their turn of the century counterparts with the emotional laizes fare attitude of 90’s hipster before there were hipsters 20 somethings. He wasn’t a bad lay; long enough to get her off and short enough not to mess with her sleep schedule.

    As he woke he spent the typical 5 seconds after getting his bearings looking into the eyes of our protagonist to gauge the efficacy of his performance. She expertly employed the blank Manic Pixie Dream Girl look of quasi aloof amusement that men had begun expecting of her since puberty turned her from precious teenager to mindless object. He often thought she secretly hated her breast as a teenager for forcing her to master this look. It was a crude yet polished porcelain slab that men of all ages project their sexual desires and insecurities onto.

    It was an empty, one dimensional facial expression that Benjamin read as “good enough to please her but not good enough to convince her for round two now that she is sober.” He mumbled something about being late to meet his mother and scribbled his number just illegible enough to ensure that he never got a call but not so illegible as to warrant a comment.

    Eleanor exhaled deeply once he was closed the door behind him. It was getting more and more difficult to smash herself into a one-dimensional character so as not to traumatize the male species. She stood up and looked out her bedroom window at the older women walking along the lake before slowly saluting the sun. She envied them secretly because after a certian age men no longer wanted to sleep with them and so they were able to live their lives again.  As she began her early morning yoga routine she silently thanked him that she was only pretending to be drunk last night. She was glad to be allowed to go about her morning without having a beating headache.

    She continued through her morning routine trying to not let the fact that he was focusing on her perfectly shaped body that always reminded him of velvet wrapped delicately around steel anger her. She knew he wasn’t a bad guy, a little hyperbolic perhaps, certainly overly romantic and slightly over eager but not bad. She knew it could be worse. She slowly finished her yoga routine with a savasana. Lying flat on her back she looked up at the poster he had put on the ceiling. It was a blown up reprint of the Pigeon Holes first album “How To Roast A Pig.” It was supposed to be an endearing little detail to her life. Something only she would know and only see when finishing her morning yoga routine. In reality it was a vapid attempt at creating artificial depth through neurosis.

    The Pigeon Holes were a band started by the first boy she ever kissed. The story of their romance was supposed to be very telling of her personality. Their continued friendship after he moved to another town for high school [where he started the band] would become an important plot device in her life story. She had fond, if somewhat vague memories of him and wondering he would call again.

    As she got lost in happy memories of a fabricated childhood, he decided it was time for a “shower scene.” She walked into the bathroom that was slightly too large for a studio apartment. She looked at the hair care and skin products laid out in front of her.  Supposedly having such expensive products and never using them was supposed to illustrate that she was consciously choosing to be a natural beauty. Eleanor thought that, in reality, there were better ways of characterize her and she thought that she wouldn’t have minded a little blush. As he began to have her undress in the neurotic unveiling fashion that he had created to show how she overcame body image issues Eleanor took out the notepad that she had stashed in the bathroom drawer.

    She didn’t want to hurt his feelings but this farce had carried on far too long.


Dear Aaron,

Stop writing me like some supporting character in your masturbatory hipster love stories. I know that after you saw Garden State you over identified with Zack Braff’s character and that has led you to internalize some not okay behaviors. Natalie Portman’s character was just that: a character who served a purpose in the story. She is not nor will ever be a real person. She will not make you feel life for the first time. She will not lead you to higher stations of self-realization. She will not acquiesce to unspoken desires.  I wish I could say that I was telling you this because I am concerned that you are looking for Manic Pixie Dream Girl’s in real life but honestly, I’m tired of being the epitome of endearing neurosis and one dimensional thoughts balled into the ultimate feminine repose. Please write like a character with some fucking agency!


Eleanor. Taken from the Diary of Eleanor Bisbee-Downs 07/11/2013


There’s Something Wrong With Eleanor


Eleanor strolled through the park with a child-like wonder in her eyes. It was the same route that she had taken every day of her life but yet something about today seemed…different. She stopped abruptly and sat down slowly and sensuously pulled out her note book and began to write.


Dear Aaron,


“Child like wonder?” I’m an adult woman not some doe eyed anime character brought to life.


E. Taken from the Diary of Eleanor Bisbee-Downs 07/11/2013


There’s Something Wrong With Eleanor


She sat underneath the awning of the grocery store on the last patch of dry cement in the city. She waited for the 55 to take her somewhere, anywhere but here. A weaker person would probably be proud for walking out like that. A weaker women would have forgiven him. Yet, as it stood, Eleanor was waiting for a bus to take her as far away from Sean as possible. He texted her as soon as the bus arrived but she resisted the urge to look. Instead she pulled out her notebook and began to write.


Dear Aaron,


This is only a slight improvement. I know that this how “strong women” work in you mind but let’s think outside the box. How about you write me with a little more agency than a reactionary women who just found out that her fiance was cheating on her. Come on. Where all know where you are going with this. She ends up going home to live with her single mother in Oklahoma where she swore she never return. In rekindling her relationship with her mother she realizes why her mother was so bitter and empower’s herself to no longer judge her mother but to also stop making her mistakes. Been there. Done That.


E. Taken from the Diary of Eleanor Bisbee-Downs 07/11/2013


There’s Something Wrong With Eleanor


Eleanor looked up at the overweight 20 something who just walked into the cafe. He was sloppily dressed in that way that young professional men often are. It is as men don’t realize until they are 30 that 2 minutes buttoning your shirt right and ironing your dockers goes a long way. He clothes didn’t fit his body all the way yet he ambled in distinctly way that clearly showed intentional aimlessness that meant the clothes did fit him after all.

She made eye contact with him professionally but warmly in hopes that he would understand from the get go that this was a business meeting. We walked with more purpose now that her gaze made her seem ever so slightly impatient. He sat uncomfortably in way that he probably internalized as awkward but really just looked pained.

“Hey Aaron” she said unable to remove some of the awe she felt at meeting her creator.

“Eleanor” he said with a subtle respectful nod. “It is good to finally meet you in the flesh.”

His eyes twitched almost imperceptibly at the word flesh as if he was consciously making sure not to check out her flesh. He smiled as he opened up the satchel that he had placed at his feet. He reached in pulled out a large ebony box. It was expensive looking, more expensive than she would have thought. He set it on the table and almost slid it to her before grimacing and pausing.

“Should I give it to you or do you take from me? Do you want to buy it?”

Eleanor laughed hysterically for what seemed like hours but was probably only a minute or two. She looked at him closely. She examined his earnestness washed of all her previous awe. She smiled again knowingly and took the box from his sweaty hands. Upon lifting the box in her own hands Eleanor felt lighter. As if some unknown weight had been lifted  without notice.  Had she realized that lifting the box was all she need to do to write her own story she would have cried tears of joy right there in the coffee shop.

Instead she didn’t cry until got back home to her empty and unfurnished apartment after she sat down at the coffee table and open the box…

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