((I’m using some of the questions from here as prompts. Here is #9.))
If freckles are angel kisses, then I can only imagine an angel holding me gently, nuzzling their face into my neck and kissing my shoulder until their lips grew tired.
We find so many reasons to rally against our own bodies, that we rarely look for an excuse to celebrate them. I celebrate my freckles as well as the soft, squishy tops of my feet that took me so long to accept. I celebrate the scares that have faded and the wrinkles that have yet to form from my incessant smiling. A vein displays prominently on my left arm and I am thankful because it makes things easy for the phlebotomists.
My body can begrudgingly eat three cupcakes in one day and can maybe kind of do that hard pose in yoga class. I have plump areas that I love and others that I don’t love so much. There are mnay little (and not so little) parts of me, and that’s exactly what they are - me. I love the angel kisses,wiry unwanted hairs, the different shades of my skin and the weird noises my body makes. Perfection is boring and so I’m going to celebrate my body, even the parts I am working to change.
When I was young, I had a very silly fantasy. See, I liked the song “Hanging by a Moment” by Lifehouse and, like many other ten year olds, I liked a boy. However, something else that I was fond of was the idea of being literally anyone other than myself. This is where 10 year old me’s daydreams become, perhaps, atypical.
In my fantasy, I starred in an outdoor concert, only it wasn’t me. Instead it was some hologram of a girl much cooler and more admirable than me. A hologram of everything I wanted to be, but thought that I wasn’t. So, hologram me would serenade my crush with this song that I liked so much, and he would swoon. Then in a very Wizard of Oz type revelation, he would learn that the hologram was, in fact, me. The cute boy would realize just how cool I was and would be smitten with me and maybe that meant that all the boys in my class would stop being dicks to me.
Now that I am much older, I realize the problem with the fact that the only way I thought I could get any one to like (or like like) me was through deception and technology that had yet to exist. I mean, what was I thinking? “Haha! You like the hologram, but surprise! The hologram is me! You like me! No take backs!” Did I really believe that I had to use clever ruses to trick people into noticing me?
I was reminded of this when I went to Best Buy with my boyfriend yesterday and “Hanging by a Moment” was playing on the radio. I had to smile because my boyfriend actually is the boy that ten year old me was hoping to impress through a highly technical musical number.
In an interesting twist, I did not have to trick him into liking me. Instead, I more or less vomited my personality all over him and he accepted it. I’ve found that my life feels like a gigantic lesson in “Holy shit, things and people can change”. When I was ten, I wanted so desperately to be liked and included by people who were indifferent or even cruel to me, but on some level I thought that was an unattainable goal. I mean, who could accept a girl who brought her entire collection of Sailor Moon and Pokemon toys to show and tell, rode a boy’s bike and had an absentee father? No, clearly holograms would be necessary for social climbing or wooing.
Yet presently, I am nearly unapologetically myself everywhere and at all times. If I had to create a holographic facade, it would just be me with the ability to breath fire and maybe coordinate a cooler outfit. It is this 23 year old borderline narcissist who got the boy.
I revel in the fact that childhood dreams do come true. I did woo my childhood crush, only I didn’t need to hide behind a curtain while he fell for some projection of myself. I couldn’t think of a better reward for overcoming the fears that socially crippled me well into my young adulthood.
When you are not here
The emptiness is heavy
I miss you, stupid.
I have a difficult time conveying my personal experiences with feminism. This is mostly because I’ve managed to avoid most personal oppressions and I’ve largely internalized the others.
There was the time when I was sleepy and told my ex “no”, but he insisted so I tried my best to turn my half slumber into a deep sleep and ignore his half-hearted thrusts. At best, thinking about this experience brings on the urging that I should be furious. I do, in many ways and for many reasons, feel violated and manipulated by this man, but I spent so many years excusing his behavior that all I can do now is to rejoice in the fact that he is gone and admit that he is the one person on this planet I am willing to say that I hate.
I’ve heard the cat calls and felt the leers from men who don’t hold themselves to respectable standards. As a teen walking home from the bus stop, I saw a full car of boys staring at me. They stared so long and so hard that their car hit the one in front of them. I’ve been in costume at a con and wondered when men were going to look anywhere other than my breasts. I had a man much older than myself thank me for my legs. I’ve been at a concert and counted the number of men, reminding myself that 1/3 of them would rape me if they felt like they could get away with it. If I feel that at most times I need to avoid people of your gender (and I do), then there is something wrong.
The more I list my personal experiences, the more I realize how asinine it is that I should consider myself lucky. And these, of course, are just the intimate encounters. This isn’t even accounting for the fact that it is 2013 and I still have to fight for the rights over my own body, or how I still feel awkward talking about sex or buying my birth control, or how I’m constantly expecting to be judged for my “geek cred”. I want to just shake my head and call it non-sense, but it’s so far beyond that. It’s beyond bullshit. It is overwhelmingly believable that this is normal to our culture. As women (all women), we have every right and reason to be furious. In fact, all sentient and sensible human beings should be furious.
I laugh a pitied laugh when I hear people say that feminists are trying to get special treatment for women. No. What I want more than anything is to be treated on equal grounds as everyone else. I want to be paid fairly for the work I do, I want to not be afraid when I go out at night, I want to be spoken to and interacted with on a basic level of human decency, I want proper portrayal in the media and I want everyone to acknowledge that my actions are mine alone and shouldn’t be held in a negative light unless I am acting in malice. I want to be treated like a human being, goddammit.
It’s not hard.
30 day challenge
I was 22 when I decided to become responsible for myself. Until that point I had offered control of my life to anyone I believed knew better. I think, on some level, I believed that it was impossible to be in control of my own life. As an adult, I understand that there are many things I cannot control. When my car caught fire, I wept on the side of the road. When my ex found someone new, I pitied both her and myself. As a child everything felt like an angry act of god. SInce my father was a drug addict, my life was mostly unrepentant chaos.
Two notions were born inside of me: the defeatist idea that life is a tempestuous bitch at best and there is no means to build something better and the optimistic idea that it must get better and somewhere there is someone who could make that happen for me. In all the stories I read, there was always someone in distress. Whether it was a damsel who was saved by a knight in shining armor or the world being protected by a group of magical girls, someone always needed to be rescued. While every bit of me yearned to be the heroine, any reality check left me certain that I was the one who should be yelling “help me!” Looking back, I realize that I was the only person I was unwilling to save. Even as a child I played champion to the downtrodden. In my heart I believed (and still believe) that life can get better for anyone. I just didn’t realize that it was something I could achieve for myself.
As I grew, I began to seek out the heroes to my story. I chose two.
One was the god my family came to follow. He had a positive impact on my life and the bonus was that any trial or decision could be transferred to him. Then came the unanswered questions and I began to wonder whether I truly wanted to give total control to something I could neither prove or fully understand.
The other hero felt like more of an anti hero and was someone with whom I felt a kindred brokenness. We could not save each other. In my head was the romantic notion that love would conquer all, but in reality his efforts to clamor over me in an attempt to escape the hell we had found ourselves in left me angry, alone and confronted with taking responsibility for myself. I had realized my life was a shambled mess for no reason other than the fact that I had allowed it to become one.
It was the beginning of last year when I accepted this and became the heroine of my own story. Nearly two years later and I am happy, but faced with another realization- A hero’s goal rarely stops at the escape from hell.
If I want to take part in the grand journeys that dominated my dreams as a child, I had better be willing to break into heaven. Stagnation doesn’t suit me. Teddy Roosevelt said that some are born great and others have greatness thrust upon them. I say fuck it. I’m tired of waiting. That’s what this 30 day challenge is- an introduction to the next 30 years of my life and a challenge to never settle for “ok” just because it is better than “awful”.
Work in progress
Right off the corner of 6th avenue and Granada Heights Blvd is a little joint that will draw you in and accept you, but only if you’re lookin’ to die.
You’ll hear her low melodies from the small basement windows and stop to wonder if her throat is as beautiful as the notes that escape them.
If you’re not a jackass, a drunk, a saint, or madman, then you’ll keep on walking. But if you’re lookin’ for more than simple answers-
if your head is tilted fifty degrees on either side of sanity, then you probably won’t even notice that you’ve trembled your way down a flight of concrete steps to the front door. The neon sign in the window will not flicker, blink or buzz, it’s just gonna stare silently at you without judgment as you push
the wooden door and enter into the Shangri-La of Scoundrels.
Above the din of the conversations and dirty deals and the melody of the woman which brought you to this dump you’ll hear “Welcome to Messina, friend!”.
The Living Word
I want to read broken battle hymns off your bones.
Pull prayers from the bends in your ribs and remember what it means to be human.
Run my fingers under your skin and find salvation in sinew.
Breathe me something beautiful and goddamn, let it be the truth.
I need the honesty from the cracks in your voice .
I am only skin and simpleminded notions.
I will write you on my back in hieroglyphics and incantations- a vertebrae manifesto.
I am a body of work to be read before bedtime.
Take me in.
I never finish anything
I am writing this to prove that I can be brave. In my search to bring about change and improvement in my life, I have found that I quit nearly every project I begin. I always thought that I was just lazy, but I was wrong. It’s fear. I’ve never considered myself to be afraid of failure, but I have always been painfully afraid of ridicule. The interesting notion about ridicule is that it doesn’t require that you fail, it only requires that you try. I’ve been sitting here trying to write a few pieces for maybe a half an hour and there has been an incessant voice in the back of my mind telling me to stop.
I used to think that this voice was just boredom. I thought I just didn’t want to work on whatever project was in front of me, even if it was one I was excited about. Recently I cam to understand that this voice was fear trying to stop me before I got the chance to make a fool of myself. Honestly, I’ve never really cared (or cared as much) about people making fun of things like the way I acted, what I wore or the things that I enjoy. People are going to be dicks about something no matter what and I would rather be happy than pretend to be what I’m not. However, when it comes to areas of life that require effort, I’m terrified of ridicule. The idea that I could pour my heart into something and do my very best and have it not be good enough kills me. I’d rather not try at all. Who wants to make fun of you if it looks like you don’t care about it, anyways?
This is me saying “no”. I want to write because I am passionate about it. If I wrote for other people, then it wouldn’t be real to me. I am not even close to being the writer, cosplayer, employee or human being that I aspire to be. It’s been easier and far less frightening to get by on minimal effort, but that also means that I can only enjoy minimal success. I am far more disgusted by mediocrity than I am frightened by ridicule. I need to push forward. I want more.
Moments of courage are not always linked to great feats and moral dilemmas. They just mean saying “no” to the doubt in the back of your mind.
Five Years Coming
I was riding your cock and searching for something to say to fill the silence when it happened. I tried not to look into your eyes and eventually said “I like this”, which was both true and incredibly banal. Although we had broken up, we still retained a mostly clandestine friendship that had turned into late night booty calls after I had (purposefully) bent over in front of you too many times while wearing that skirt. I may have even preferred our friends-with benefits scenario as it allowed me to continue having sex and witty conversations with you, while not having to worry about tending to our relationship because it had already failed.
Weeks prior to this, you blurted out that you didn’t want kids, which I still think was just a ploy to get me to break up with you. I did. At the time, I couldn’t imagine a future without kids. Now, of course, that doesn’t really matter. I try not to commit myself to uncertain things.
But that was then and this was fucking. Or at least it was, until my dumbass blurted out “I like this” and you responded by telling me you loved me. I’m not sure if it was by reflex or whether it was even true or not, but you fucked up. You had been so worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep the sex between us casual, but I did. I’ve found that I’m rather cavalier about what I put between my legs. No, it was you, Mr.Machismo, who caved under the pressure of the familiar way that our bodies moved together.
I fell for it. you had opened up room for reconciliation, so I dedicated myself to fixing the holes in a relationship that should have ended five years beforehand. I think you were unwilling to admit your mistake, because all you did was allow me to tell you that I loved you while sidestepping my attempts to talk through our issues.
Two months later, you told me that we needed to stop pretending to be happy, that you didn’t want to be in a relationship and you just wanted to climb mountains. You spent the following weekend with the girl that you would quickly begin a relationship and move in with. Mountains don’t suck your cock and tell you how cool you are.
Another two months passed,during which I put myself through a near comical depression. We began to talk again via text message and I ended up at your house one night so we could catch up and share a pack of cigarettes. I teared up and told you that I still had feelings for you. You apologized and told me all of your problems. You had quite a list: your alcoholic mother was in jail, your father faced losing the house, and the stress of it all had caused the two of you to nearly come to blows. However, the problem you kept coming back to was how you had nearly been in an accident two days prior and now you couldn’t pop a boner. It was not something I cared about. As your friend, which I was trying desperately to be, I cared much more about your emotional well-being than your impotency.
However, you continued to bring up the issue, sigh loudly and poke at your limp penis through your basketball shorts. It was not one of your most subtle manipulations, but I bit anyways. I talked to you about it and told you to see a doctor. I asked you if it looked any different, at which point you turned your back on verbal responses and just whipped it out. We danced around the indecency of it all before I inevitably began a handjob that ended in a blowjob. Only after you learned that you could still achieve an erection and ejaculate did you seem to even remember that you had a girlfriend. You told me that you cared for her and tried to soften the rejection by telling me I was still the Blowjob Goddess. In hindsight, it was really her who ended up with the consolation prize. The next hour was spent with the both of us trying to out do the other with dramatic antics. I sat on the floor crying and you put the barrel of your pistol in your mouth until I talked you out of pulling the trigger.
You decided against telling your girlfriend and I decided you were a coward. We tried to continue talking until it made your girlfriend uncomfortable and we realized we had nothing to gain from it, anyways. I saw you last month, still walking with the slumped gait of a man who hates himself.
We stayed together far too long and we’re both to blame for that. I won’t cheapen those years by saying I didn’t love you in a horribly magnificent way- I did, but dear god, I am so much happier now that you’re gone.
I feel like I’m on the cusp of writing something really well. Everything’s been coming out pretty half-assed lately. I’m missing something. I want to write something that makes me cry. That pushes me.