Culture and Society
I used to feel like an imposter because of my breasts, because even before I got pregnant they were pretty spectacular, and it’s made me wonder if I’ve ever actually earned anything, or if all the jobs and awards and opportunities I’ve gotten, really, have just been handed to me because of fat deposits that would be disgusting if they were placed a few inches lower, on my belly.
This man could have been my rapist, but he looked too nice. He had thick, wavy hair, like a movie star from the seventies, and a jawbone that could take out your eye. I hung my feet over the edge of the roof and let myself slide into his arms.
When my brother was twelve, I found six mice nailed to the wall of the abandoned tree house in the woods near our apartment. He spent a lot of time there. It seemed to me the little mouse faces were frozen in agony. As though they’d been alive when he’d hammered the nails through them.
We experience two kinds of violence: the violence done to us by others, and the violence we do to ourselves. The latter hurts more, because it’s of our own making.
You do not have cramps. That’s invented by women who want attention. We don’t go in for that kind of malingering — that’s what it is. You have cramps because you eat too fast. You don’t chew.
We didn’t know what it was to be desired. We didn’t know what girls’ bodies were supposed to look like. We just knew it was better for us if nothing stuck out too far.
It’s like the French Revolution. One by one, prominent men are wheeled out to the guillotine and dispatched. Of course, the present-day “deaths” are metaphorical. Garrison Keillor is still alive, just out of sight. But “Garrison Keillor,” the charming, folksy, self-deprecating Midwestern humorist, is dead.