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The Pauperly Princess


Once upon a time, there lived a Princess in the Kingdom of Attorneys. The Princess was forbidden from engaging with the world below her family’s skyscraper, but she collected all the land artifacts that made their way up the tower: a stray coffee shop punch card, a knock-off Goyard bag from the lost & found, a Hunger Games paperback that she furtively stole from her father’s secretary. These things spoke to her of another life, one that would free her from the confines of the 88th floor.

One fateful day, King Senior Partner caught the Princess ogling an electrical engineer who had come to fix the tower’s faulty broadband. Full of rage, he destroyed the girl’s collection of middle-class treasures. “This is who you are!” he said, gesturing at the tower’s lacquered boardroom. “Not,” he said, pinching a tattered copy of Nylon Magazine between two fingers, “this.”

Overcome, the princess cried out, “No, Papa! I love that! I want to be an English Major!” Her father gasped and banished her to her room, which was actually a suite of three rooms, so not that bad.

Late that night, she got online and made a pact with the Student Loan Witch: In exchange for debilitating, non-dischargeable debt, she would be allowed to live on land amongst the middle class and major in English.

Away at school in a foreign fiefdom called Ohio, she fell hopelessly in love with the university’s literary magazine. She saved it from certain death by holding a very successful erotic bake sale fundraiser, and as graduation approached, she planned to be a writer and felt certain that her happiness was secured.

(But this is based on the Hans Christian Anderson fairytale, not the Disney version.)

Although she loved the publishing industry dearly, it abandoned her and married the internet. She tried to get on board, but all the internet-based outlets wanted her to write for exposure instead of actual money. Tragically, she starved to death within a few short years.

Okay, really she became a receptionist at a boutique fitness studio, which is almost as sad.


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