Because I feel cold and closed off and walled in. Do you ever get like that? I build a fort inside myself and don’t come out until someone makes banana bread. No one’s making banana bread. It’s November, a notoriously lonely month for me and my razor*. So dark! So bare! I want to make a fire and watch it burn while drinking a glass of wine, then six more. Instead I am in the library wrestling with book #2. I know that there is a story there, but I’m stuck. Stuck like gum in hair. And then the doubt starts to creep in: You can’t write another book, you silly quack! You only had one book in you and now that that’s done you may as well find a nice bridge to cozy up under because you’re done. D-O-N-E done like the turkey will be next week (poor Turkeys. Don’t you love birds and want to become a vegan with me?) So I start feeling sorry for myself and everything else on the goddamn planet including the leaves because they’ve fallen from such great heights and now they’re down here with the rest of us getting stepped on. Poor leaves. You know what I need? A Poopsicle. That’s what you have for dessert after you have a Feelings Salad for lunch. Probably I will also need to eat a real lunch and then I will return to book 2 and all of this will pass by the end of the afternoon. Nothing gold can stay and neither can anything rusty. How nice is that? Life is a carousel of plastic ponies – up and down, up and down. Sometimes I get a little nauseous, but it’s not half bad in my corner of the fair.
*Get it? No shave November? How bad is a joke if I have to explain it?
knows her mother / buys Hallmark cards
believes in the enduring power of the human spirit / thinks an apple is dessert
was born with a penis / wasn’t
keeps flowers until they disintegrate / goes to therapy
would not fuck her cousin / first or second?
practiced witch craft until high school / has a good relationship with her father
doesn’t think about her thighs / knows where to get an amputation
can take care of herself / was always a food group for Halloween
knows oysters are best in cold weather months / never ate her boogers
has a sister / doesn’t
knows where the nearest dry cleaner is / hears “steamer” and thinks warm milk with a pump of vanilla
has an herb garden / thinks vegetables are for liars
knows what intersectional feminism is / needs to read Bitch Magazine
reads to live / has a tidy bookshelf with other props on it like small crying elephants
uses a diva cup is / doesn’t think big tampon companies want to destroy her happy place
used to like when chlorine turned her hair green / has a white board calendar
would not propose / sends the bread basket back if it’s not warm enough
knows this list is mostly bullshit / wants to agree on the definition of “BS” before she answers
On Twitter this morning I discovered #MeToo and at first I was all, I shouldn’t contribute. I’ve “only” been: verbally assaulted while eating a sausage on the street, pressured into sex by people I was in relationships with, cat called times a million, texted inappropriately in high school by a married man hitting on pictures of me and my friends on Facebook…and then I was like, oh duh. That’s the fucking point. These are not tiny, insignificant, isolated incidents. This is sexual assault and it’s happening all the time.
One of the more uncomfortable incidents I already tweeted about, but it involved a man I frequently saw while out to breakfast with my parents. I started calling him Creepy Paul because even at nine years old I could tell he gave me too much unwanted attention, then one day he kissed me on the cheek when I was going to the bathroom. It made me feel disgusting and ashamed. I don’t remember if I told my parents or if I gave them an excuse for not wanting to go back to one of our favorite breakfast spots, but I’ve been avoiding that diner for years. I don’t know for certain, but I probably wasn’t the only little girl Creepy Paul assaulted– how frightening and angering and fucked up and disgusting of him.
Besides sharing this information, I don’t really know what to “do” about this and I’m frustrated that I don’t have a solution. I do know that it’s been helpful to hear about other women’s encounters with sexual harassment, particularly on blogs I love, like this one.
And so we keep going.