A Lady’s History

Photo by Lisa Marie of Sweet Tea Photography
Photo by Lisa Marie of Sweet Tea Photography

Bits and pieces of essays that I have written over the years…

There is something very mysterious about a woman’s past. It really does not matter who the woman is–princess or prostitute, the chances of her having some scandal lurking in the shadows of years left behind are high–higher than you will think at first glance, or even after first touch.  Most women are masters of disguise and secrecy; wiping away all traces of anything truly haunting on their first try. It is easy to speculate, force together puzzle pieces of broken dreams and dead-end relationships, but if there is something that she deems unnecessary to bring to posterity, she will leave it in the dust of a torn-up memory lane.

***

Lovers’ flaws are more pronounced the deeper into the relationship you dive. In the early days, everyone knows that it is easy to get caught up in only what you want to see, reserving the bumps and bruises for a later time in the relationship. You discover true love when you acknowledge that the worst of your lover is what makes them real. When the fantasy fades, you want something to hold onto. Superficial qualities like beauty are fleeting and subjective, but the realness of life and ultimately, love, comes down to what is objectively imperfect.

***

She twirled the handle of the revolver through the fingers of her right hand, like a professional ballerina navigates a stage set–so effortlessly graceful, yet painfully precise. The cup of coffee that she just poured for herself minutes before sat steaming directly in front of her, untouched. Beside the cup on the same saucer was a single serving half-and-half container, unopened. In the darkest moments of early morning, her mind buzzed even without the aid of caffeine… 

…She could not escape them, these thoughts. Like a busted movie reel, the scene replayed in her head, a stuck frame on a broken projector wheel. She is the only one in this audience, an unwilling hostage in her own theatre of the absurd. Her heart pounded in anticipation even though the action predictably repeated itself. The scene, continuous on a loop. The writer left the script unfinished. Was it an incomplete ending? She knew it wasn’t. Why couldn’t she get past this frame, worn and tired as it was…

…It was becoming harder and harder to focus as the first light of morning peeked in through the closed blinds on the large kitchen window. Tiny red-orange slivers ripped through her scene. The broken frame was fading in her mind. She blinked rapidly, hoping to keep it freshly recurring, but it was almost as if the brilliance of daybreak had blinded her mind to all memories evoked during the dark pre-dawn. By the time the fresh light permeated through the room, the production in her mind was over, and in its place, a terrible pounding; an internal drum beat.

***

We are only as free as we allow ourselves to be until we get fucked over, and then there is no control. Sometimes, the lucky ones escape unscathed. The rest of us have to fight for our lives–often finding our strength in the words of strangers.

***

He asked about me. The question was a command: Describe yourself. Without hesitation, I began to explain. 

On a visceral level, I would use the word, “curious.” Yes, I am curious. Undeniably and uncontrollably, curious. But who can fault a woman for wanting to understand the world around her on a level outside the realm of reason and intellect? Men tend to ask “how,” but a woman first looks at the “why.”

Sure, I make up stories–characters, places, journeys, details. When you write, there is always a “why.” Maybe that is the reason that the most curious of us are drawn to the pen and paper.We never had a choice. We have a compulsion to create the discovery of the why.

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