Sara Guerrero

ESTRELLITA (a recalling of an earlier time.)

When I was very little I asked my dad, “Do you have wee-wee? ”

“A wee-wee?”

“Yes. A WEE-WEE.”

“Como es un wee-wee? He laughed. “We don’t call our pinche elbows pointy things. Mija, you have a vagina, I have a penis, and the rest of the world can fuck themselves!”

My dad then took out a number of books with vivid pictures and illustrations and I learned, all in an afternoon, about the human reproductive system. With my new found knowledge, I was set on educating THE WORLD!

After my educational crusade most of the kids in the neighborhood weren’t allowed to play with me.

WHO NEEDS FRIENDS?! I had my dad’s books. I was more interested in my anatomy. I was looking forward to watching the grass grow on the field. I so desperately wanted hair on my vagina. They look so unfinished without it. What an odd crooked smile. I got an idea…

My mom had just got done brushing my sister’s hair. That was quite an ordeal.

You see my sister has curly, curly, curly hair and our mom would only buy shampoo and NO conditioner. I having straight hair painful. But, my sister, pobrecita, with her curly, curly, curly hair it would be excruciatingly pulled and yanked by this horrible, monstrous, pink Pepto-Bismol, bristly brush with AVON etched on the handle. That thing was EVIL!

Between my sister’s screams, pleads, and cries my mom would detangle the mess into puffy mushroom clouds, postmodern topiaries, and dust bunnies which inevitably left large clumps of hair on the bristles of the pink monster.

The day my sister found conditioner and mousse it was like discovering Mecca. Hallelujah! Praise Paul Mitchell! And, pass the frizz control!

Seeing that my sister was down for her post-brushing cry, my mom was next for shower, and I was alone.

I took that devil brush and quickly pulled the tangled dark brown clumps of hair from its bristles. I examined it carefully and began to gently tucked the hair between the folds of my crooked smile. Carefully arranging it just so.

While standing before a mirror, I was amazed by the transformation. I saw into the
future. I was a woman. I could hear my song playing right outside the window…

* “Danger in the shape of something wild
Stranger dressed in black she’s a hungry child,
Hot child in the city,
Hot child in the city,
Running wild and looking pretty.
Hot child in the city…”

I don’t know how long I had been dancing in the mirror, when I finally caught a glimpse of
my sister’s mushroom reflection.

I dropped my the devil brush and my vagina toupee fell to the floor. My sister held it over my head, blackmailing me for most of my childhood. But, if you ask her now and she doesn’t remember.

* “Hot Child in the City” by Songwriters: James Mc Culloch / Nick Gilder



When the task of writing grows inevitably arduous—and seemingly thankless—we must remember why we started. Inspired by George Orwell’s 1946 essay “Why I Write,” this introspective project highlights our motives for writing. Share your story and join the conversation. Live events are produced throughout the diverse cities of Orange County and feature author readings from curated essay submissions.

  1. Write a 500-word essay explaining why you write.
  2. Submit via Submittable.