Miranda Michałowski


the girl keeps forgetting to turn off the taps in her house and now the bathtub is overflowing, and the kitchen sink is drip-drip-dripping onto the floor, and all that dripping has scared the cat, so now he’s hiding in the garden. he’s half-blind, so he scares easily. and the girl is you. yes you. you need to go and turn off the taps. the cat already feels ambivalent about you and you’re just making it worse. turn them off. this girl (who is you) is clearly “in the middle of something,” or at the end of it. or maybe she’s just arrived in the opening scene of a seven-movie franchise. that would explain why she keeps mistaking herself for the local paper girl and leaving cryptic notes and lists inside her neighbour’s letterboxes. a friendly reminder: Steven from number 28 doesn’t want to hear about your panic attack at the dentist, and he certainly doesn’t want your recipe for French onion soup. the girl is lucky he hasn’t alerted the police yet. those notes would be more comfortable in her back drawer, hidden from all eyes. put them away. I think the girl is scared to tell her mother about what happened last December and that’s why she finds it easier to leave Christmas cards in her neighbour’s letterboxes at Easter time. nothing makes sense, so why bother trying? is what I imagine she is thinking. but you (yes, I’m talking to you now, I’m sick of pretending you are not the girl and the girl is not you), you need to stop spending all your afternoons in the children’s section of the library and wearing your “world’s best daughter” hat out in public all the time. people think it’s strange, and not in an Amelie sort of way, just in a strange way. besides, if this girl is so scared to talk to people, why doesn’t she come along to my book club on Mondays? it’s a very friendly group, and I’ve never read a single book! i’ve tried inviting her but she hasn’t shown up once, even after I left all those letters in her mailbox. I know it’s nothing personal, but I think the human contact would do her a world of good. one last thing: she needs to stop sticking up those missing cat posters in the bus shelter and at the Reject Shop. the cat isn’t missing, he’s just terrified of drowning, and she already knows that. turn off the taps.


12 reasons to move to Mars and 1 to stay on Earth

  1. Red is your favourite colour.

  2. You always wished you were more adventurous.

  3. You saw The Martian once on a blind date and it scared you but you loved the David Bowie song at the end and you want to be on a big shiny screen one day.

  4. You’d like to meet an alien, and you wonder if you’d get along. Friends sound like a nice thing to have.

  5. You want to escape The Kardashians and the pyramid schemes. You can’t keep up.

  6. You’re sick of this stupid wet rock and you want to try another one. Maybe it’ll be less stupid. And wet.

  7. The isolation would give you some much-needed time to reflect. You’re an introvert (at least according to the quizzes).

  8. You’re a terrible driver but you might be a better space shuttle pilot. Don’t know until you try!

  9. Your neighbour won’t stop asking for sugar even though you told him you didn’t have it last time.

  10. You can’t stop thinking about what you said at the high school reunion and that awful look those girls gave you over glasses of cheap red wine.

  11. You wonder what it would be like to lie on your back and only see the stars and the black black sky.

  12. You feel like you’re one of those open-mouthed clowns with turning heads in a carnival game, but the people throwing the ball keep missing your mouth, they’re too busy inhaling their chip-on-a-stick, and they always miss, so why do you even bother turning your head? Why not just pack up and leave?

  1. Blue’s not such a bad colour.

About the Author

Miranda Michałowski (she / her) is a Sydney, Australia-based writer with a passion for queer and feminist stories, as well as all things funny and strange. With a focus on playwriting, Miranda is currently completing her Honours thesis at the University of New South Wales, investigating female coming-of-age representations in contemporary theatre. Her nonfiction writing can be found in Ramona Magazine.