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Why do I feel like I should apologize for this??

I must have been 12 or 13
Mom was acting in a play
I helped her learn her lines
got to hang out with the cast
and I felt like the coolest kid ever
sitting on a bar stool.
Of course he was drunk,
this hilarious man Iíd seen on stage
celebrating a performance well done, I guess.
My memory of the room is fuzzy
though Iíve been there often since
I only recall, ďdo you have pink, underdeveloped nipples?Ē

*

???

*

And I donít know what happened next
nothing dramatic, nothing physical
he probably laughed and moved on
But I did not.
I was a child, unsure of the developing body
that garnered such unwanted attention
unsure of the answer to the literal question
and terrified by the implications of its asking.

And perhaps if that had been the only time
I could quiet the rage that surfaces
at that memory
but there have been countless
men and boys
who have felt entitled to reduce me
to the lumps on my chest
or the sounds they imagine I might make
or the assumed colour of my pubes.
And the world hasnít changed
and I havenít changed it
for those who come after me
and Iím so ashamed
that my daughter still faces it --

Questions that trigger
acute vigilant awareness
of surroundings and my smallnessÖ
Comments that require
infinite, minute calculations in an instantÖ
To laugh and play along is to be complicit
(She asked for it)
To speak up is to invite ridicule
(Bitch canít take a joke)
To fight back is to egg him on
(Oh, feisty! Iíll show you whoís boss)
To stay silent is to betray us allÖ.

Freeze and stay silent,
almost always my choice
(Fear)
Swallow the humiliation,
absorb the hatred of this vessel I walk around in
(Shame)
Question myself for not doing better,
try to forgive my failure
(Regret)
Some days, it just crops up
and kills me inside.

How do I carry all this rage
and still be a woman
who likes to flirt a bit,
who finds masculinity attractive,
who sincerely enjoys the company of men?

I love all you good guys,
truly I do
And I can take a joke
and dish it out too
But if I go tight-lipped
and donít enjoy that movie or song
just know thereís a lifetime
resurfacing in my head
that might have nothing to do with you

And some days itís just fucking exhausting
brokentitanium
Written by brokentitanium (k.)
Published
Author's Note
I don't know where this came from today, just writing it to try and make it go the fuck away.
All writing remains the property of the author. Don't use it for any purpose without their permission.
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