That girl on that show sings, “See the pyramids, along the Nile.”
As in, see the world. As in, fuck pretty boys who buy you Instagram-worthy beers and raunchy-disgusting burgers in pretty bars all over the place. Let them touch you all over. Let them kiss you and when they do, turn your head and picture something else. Imagine pretty blue skies. Picture clouds shaped like whales or rainforests rising like undead martyrs. Imagine that every day this world is created anew, forests revirginized, oceans unpolluted by the fingerprints of civilization. Close your eyes and picture yourself made whole.
In my imagination, skies are blue and trees are green. I look over the furred unruly surface of this planet and I think to myself, what a wonderful earth.
I don’t want to see the fucking pyramids.
I never did. Truth be told. I wanted to be somebody whose stomach does not sag repulsively. I wanted to be somebody who when he reached for my waist, all innocence, I would not cower away. I wanted to be somebody who when he put his hands on me, I would be thinking about nothing except those hands, that smile. This person.
I look in the mirror and I think to myself. I look at this body, this flesh-and-blood that has been through so much and I think to myself. I do not think, what a wonderful world. I do not think, maybe we will make it out of this story alive, him and I.
I do not think to myself, maybe I will wake up and someday, somehow, he will love me back.
I think to myself, how do I convince this body to shut the fuck up so I can get some work done. So I can get some writing some studying some storytelling done. When I am melting and the thing I am melting into, is.
I am too late. I went looking for him but he had already gone to sleep for the night, probably with someone else. He wanted me however briefly but why should I complain when he stopped wanting. Girls do not complain. Girls yes-sir soldier on in the face of disappointment and heartache, even shame.
I try to write about wanting to suck on him but I end up writing about how I am a sucker. How he is in love with the idea of himself as a hero and I can’t give him that. I don’t think he is a hero.
Maybe that was my cardinal sin. He is a man trying to be a good man and I looked at him and saw a cypress tree trying to become a sycamore to look more manly. I looked at him and saw something real trying to grow while the rest of him tried to kill that growth off. I saw him mocking the lyrics to Taylor Swift or Frozen or anything else feminine. I saw a man I could not trust with my soft places, that no one should really trust with her soft places.
Sometimes it is not safe to be who we really are out loud but that is when it is most important to be that person anyway.
Then again, when he turned his soft places towards me, I didn’t believe him.
I didn’t stand up and fight. Or raise difficult questions. Or act irritatingly brainy. Or be a Hermione Granger know-it-all. I tried to be less myself. With the result being, I was less myself.
I want to live in the joy of wanting him but underneath there is resentment. Rage-masks of hatred that might not be such a mask, it might just be my face.
This girl he thought I was. This white girl he thought I was. This girl who does not exist, who he thought I was.
He will travel this world looking for that girl so he can kill her. He won’t find her. I will travel the world looking for the desire to fuck pretty boys in dirty bars and never find it. The desire to be near what I find repulsive is gone. It left me when I quit believing that just because I find parts of my body repulsive, does not mean I deserve to be treated like a witch in a horror story.
The witch always has a backstory. That is third wave feminism’s greatest gift. If you think what she did to those boys was bad, just wait till you find out what the villagers did to her.
Women’s bodies are not viewed as legitimate testimony of the impact of male violence but they should be.
I can’t see the pyramids. Not in this body. Probably not ever. I can barely make it through the day.
Surviving my life is a battle I am losing. Have been losing for a long time.
I won’t see the pyramids. Not the ones along the Nile. Not the day-glo dreams of pretty boys in dirty bars. I don’t care about the damn pyramids.
He is no hero. He runs from the hard stuff. He prefers to be loved by people who don’t want to touch him so he can be comfortable. He hurt me when I was a girl standing in front of a boy asking him to love her. He was only interested in what I had to say when it made him feel more like a sycamore.
I am soggy and sagging and sad. I am writing stories to a boy who insists he never gave a damn. He abandoned me like a treasure chest at the bottom of the sea. I still think I’m full of gold. Maybe I’m mistaken. In real life, unlike fairy tales, gold in time probably rots away.
I am not interested in the pyramids. I want a brick house and a hearth. I want a family and people to call me by name when I forget who I am. I want adventure, but for short periods of time, by myself, because artists need solitude. I want agency and I want to decide whether he touches me or I touch him, and how and when. I don’t want to be trapped in romantic tropes written by old white men. I want to make up our own.
What do I know?