Thursday, April 24, 2014

Throwback Thursday

People who work out regularly have cheat days, don't they? Can that apply to the blogging world, too?Because I'm tired, mama. I don't have much fuel in the ole' tank.

It's Thursday. Throwback Thursday, #tbt. On social media, this second-to-last day of the work week means you are guaranteed to see old photos of your friends or acquaintances as naked babies in tubs with their siblings, or photos of their mothers with 80s hair cuts, or photos with subjects wearing parachute pants somewhat unironically. It's amusing, slightly overdone, and one example of the strange camaraderie we all share spending so much of our lives online together.

Yesterday I wrote a little about the woman I used to be, and today I posted photo evidence of that on Facebook and Instagram for a little #tbt goodness. (See left).

Oy, the tragic, tangly hair.

Oy, the baby doll tee with The Cure lyrics on it.

Oy, the baggy, torn, and faded jeans.

Oy, the colorful bead necklace.

Oy, the self-conscious expression on my face.

Just oy.

Oy is not only my signature tag-line - I'm 50 percent Jewish, whaddya expect?! - it's also what I often feel while looking at old pictures of myself. And I've found the same sentiment comes from reading old pieces I wrote many moons ago. In the spirit of self depreciation, here's just such a piece - a poem I wrote in 2007 (age 20) for a college class. The assignment was to write a piece in the style of a classic poem - and I chose my favy Anne Sexton's "When Man Enters Woman." Without further ado, here goes nothing (and a whole lotta' young adult angst):

I Should Have Failed Outdoor Ed

The knot that is tied
each time man enters
woman, claiming to
never again
be separate,
that knot your mother used
to dissuade you
from dirtying 
your pristine insides,
is a fraud.

The tired strings
that bound us, 
thread-bare from your carelessness
from your ads, falsifying
"honey, you are my 
shining star,
don't you go away,"
were severed
without argument
Like you,
in(to) me then out.
No struggle,
No fight to preserve
the knot.

It's been years,
but I saw you days ago
And you gulped down our memories
through the mouth of your liquor bottle,
then wiped from your mouth,
the taste of me,
of us, sour,
with the back of your hand,
and asked me to drive you home.
Still, always, pressing promises
of "no strings attached,"
as you slammed the door.

But I've been pulling at threads
ever since.
Rebellious strands that
trail behind me, 
scratch at my neck,
stick to my tongue,
refusing to be plucked out.
Like your words in my head,
now that they touched me,
again and again,
like a child running
to the shore, then back
to the shore, then back,
in fearful delight.

Back to the shore.
I drove, this time.
And covered my body in
black fabric,
in mourning of our
untangled knot
that unraveled 
two years ago.
What's left:
our scrubbed-clean limbs,
singular strands stretched out 
to again find warmth.
To find freedom from
each other.
And next time, tie tougher

I tie double knots,
wound loops inside
one another
then outside, and in again.
And the sky remains silent,
and so does he.
And no rivers are unleashed,
and I don't swallow a flower's stem
because I don't like the taste,
and I've fated myself to hunger only
for what is man-
made, by two hands.
Two bodies, dangling by thread.

I never learned to tie a bowline.


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