Women – Charles BukowskiI
Some of us are hard to love. We doubt and push till your will is broken. We don’t intend to, but if we were our intentions, we’d be labeled “danger, do not love.” We crave that which shudders at our touch because that is what we know about love. But we are not hard to all forms of love. We open our hearts to the poetry of touch, haikus recited between thighs, the brave seek our centers.
The brave stay long enough to notice the myriad of women I have been. I was the woman that dreamed of being like roots. Not in the sense that they spread over large distances but in the sense that their heart was in one place. This version wanted to stay, I would stay in a burning house because that is where my heart was. The other version wanted to leave. There was a fire beneath my feet that made me incapable of staying in one place. I found love and celebrated it by planning my escape. But there is a version that wants nothing. Sometimes amidst all this fire, I sit and dream of nothing. There is no urge to flee or stay, merely to exist. None of these versions is easy to love but they are all worth it because above all, they will love you with ease.
My love is a baptism of fire, even I am not saved from it.
This is the prelude to disaster. My heart is racing and my vision is blurred, it’s happening again. Anything will set me off, a name or a memory. An overwhelming belief that I am inadequate begins to suffocate me. I forget how to breathe like I haven’t done it my whole life. My brain says my oxygen has been cut off and I can almost feel my blood cease to flow through my body. And then come the shakes. I can’t seem to control this body. I call it “this body” because in this moment nothing feels familiar. It doesn’t feel like it’s mine and I can’t get it to stop.
My consciousness folds into itself. I am experiencing this from inside and from outside this body. I can’t scream because on top of all this I’m trying my best to seem fine. “I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m fine.” I recite this over and over again till the words lose meaning. Did they even have any meaning to begin with? Maybe it’s a phase, maybe it will pass. But logic fails me, I am falling apart while conscious of the fact that this could be permanent. This could be the last straw. Tomorrow I might not put myself back together again. But if I do, it’s like nothing ever happened. I tuck my anxiety into the land of the forgotten. Back to being “fine.”
“i am mine.
before i am ever anyone else’s.”
― Nayyirah Waheed
“Mine” – tattooed on my right wrist is this declaration. I see it with every action my dominant hand takes. The meaning is lost on so many who see it. “Why would you need to remind yourself of something so basic.” – they ask, with the heavy condescension that I am not yet immune to. Trying to explain myself seems futile. How can they understand that I never felt like mine for so long. I longed to be “his” “yours” “theirs” I was forever giving myself away that I forgot to be mine. The desecration of this temple went like this.
There was Mr Grey. The first person to pay attention to me was granted access to my heart even when he openly declared that the next one wouldn’t love me either so there was no difference. I failed to see that I was always capable of the thing they couldn’t give me.
Then there was Mr Black. He was the personification of my self hate. He called me bitch and pulled my hair even when he never fucked me. He was the least deserving of my being but he was a reflection of how much I could hate myself.
And to my rescue was Mr Green. He was the most like me, so it came as no surprise when I discovered that he too, was lacking in self love. We were on the same journey but we couldn’t take it together. Good intentions weren’t enough to save us from ruining each other.
The direct opposite of Mr Green was Mr Red. He was an embodiment of the world. All I sought to be was a version that would impress him. But I always fell short of this standard. He felt better about himself by putting me down and yet I still believed he was capable of more.
Mr Brown was supposed to be the one. But that one expectation created a million more. People aren’t supposed to be what we expect of them and vice versa. I was too busy trying to mold him that I forgot to mold myself.
And now, there is me! Plato said “At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet.” What he left out was this, with the loss of love, everyone finds a divine entity. Finding yourself after this loss, is that divine entity.
I remain a goddess even when no man worships at my altar.
“What is your type?” – We have been conditioned to reduce ourselves to a category in order for someone else to want us. They say if I want love, I must find a man who prefers “Bbw” but Groucho Max said “Please accept my resignation. I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member.”
Consider this my resignation!
Fuck you for attaching this label to me even though I didn’t ask for it. For the objectification attached to this label which means you don’t see me beyond the sexual. Fuck you for expecting me to fuck you because you called me beautiful simply because you think I should be grateful that I’m being hit on. I know my worth and I don’t need your shallow opinion. Fuck you to the guy that told me that big breasts don’t matter if you’re “fat” I happen to think my big tits are fucking gorgeous! And then there’s the assholes that’ll like you but can’t admit it because it’s taboo to like a big girl, Fuck you for not having the balls to openly admit you like something. You don’t deserve a prize for fucking or loving a bigger woman.
I’m angry and I have every right to be. I am intelligent, witty and hilarious. And that just describes 5% of who I am. I am more than my size!
“But you are gazing at me the way God gazed at Adam and I am embarrassed by your look of love and possession and pride. I want to go now and cover myself with fig leaves. It’s a sin this not being ready, this not being up to it.”
– Jeanette Winterson, Written On The Body
“You sound like your mother.” – He said it to hurt me. He means the worst parts of her. A double edged insult, I can never be the best parts of my parents. I am somehow the worst halves of two amazing people.
“You drink like your father.” – My rebuttal is weak. His father doesn’t drink. But mine does. Freud was right to a degree, I am dating my father.
“You aren’t her.” – This should be a compliment but it isn’t. He loved her, he had a child with her. I’m the phase that comes after all the good times have passed.
“You aren’t him.” – This isn’t a compliment. It isn’t intended as one either. I am not with the person I love and I know this everytime we celebrate an anniversary.
“You are amazing.” – My insecurities see it as sarcasm. How could I ever be this unattainable concept that I am yet to fathom. But then again maybe it’s real and I am over thinking it like I usually do.
“I can’t do this.” – how I always end it. I am weary of this version of myself. It feels fake. I am searching for “real” yet another concept I am yet to attain.